Press Releases

October 22, 2008

Huffington Post and Politico Lead Wave of Explosive Growth at Independent Political Blogs and News Sites this Election Season

Political Blog Visitors Skew Older, Wealthier, More Male than Overall U.S. Internet Population

RESTON, VA, October 22, 2008 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study of visitation to political blogs and news sites during the 2008 presidential election season, which showed strong gains at most sites compared to year ago. HuffingtonPost.com led among a group of selected stand-alone political blogs and news sites with 4.5 million visitors in September, up 472 percent versus year ago, while Politico.com attracted 2.4 million visitors (up 344 percent) and DrudgeReport.com saw 2.1 million visitors (up 70 percent).

“With each new election cycle, the Internet is playing a more significant role in shaping the stories of the day that are so crucial in formulating public opinion on issues and candidates,” said Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst at comScore. “That most mainstream news outlets now have their own political blogs is a testament to their increasing reach and influence. However, several independent blogs unaffiliated with larger media outlets paved the way in this space and are really beginning to enter the mainstream public consciousness with this current election cycle.”

Selected Stand-Alone* Political Blogs & News Sites
September 2008 vs. September 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  Total Unique Visitors (000)
Sep-2007 Sep-2008 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 181,858 189,468 4
HUFFINGTONPOST.COM 792 4,545 474
POLITICO.COM 532 2,362 344
DRUDGEREPORT.COM 1,215 2,059 70
REALCLEARPOLITICS.COM 192 1,129 489
FREEREPUBLIC.COM 1,022 987 -3
Capitol Advantage 794 959 21
DAILYKOS.COM 192 923 381
TOWNHALL.COM 407 884 117
NEWSBUSTERS.ORG 113 732 547
WORLDNETDAILY.COM 411 636 55
TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM 32 458 1,321
MICHELLEMALKIN.COM 103 247 140
REDSTATE.COM 38 235 514
CROOKSANDLIARS.COM 122 218 79
RAWSTORY.COM 219 212 -3
POLLSTER.COM N/A 194 N/A
MEDIAMATTERS.ORG 145 178 23
FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM N/A 169 N/A
CQPOLITICS.COM N/A 139 N/A
AMERICABLOG.COM N/A 104 N/A

*Stand-alone refers to blogs unaffiliated with larger news properties, such as the New York Times Caucus Blog or Time’s“The Page”.

Some additional findings include:

  • September represented the single biggest month on record for both HuffingtonPost.com and Politico.com since their respective launches.
  • Several sites dedicated to political poll-watching achieved notable gains. RealClearPolitics.com, which tracks composites of polls by state, attracted 1.1 million visitors in September, up 489 percent versus year ago. Two other polling-oriented sites, Pollster.com with 194,000 visitors and FiveThirtyEight.com with 169,000 visitors, also saw notable traffic in September.
  • The top conservative leaning blog, FreeRepublic.com, actually saw marginal declines versus year ago, though it still attracted nearly 1 million visitors in September. Other conservative blogs, such as Newsbusters.org (up 547 percent to 732,000 visitors), WorldNetDaily.com (up 55 percent to 636,000 visitors) and MichelleMalkin.com (up 140 percent to 247,000 visitors) saw strong gains.

Political Blog Visitors Skew Older and Wealthier Than Average Americans

Looking at the demographic profiles for the top three sites, HuffingtonPost.com, Politico.com and DrudgeReport.com, one can conclude that visitors to these sites tend to be older, wealthier, and more likely to be male than the average U.S. Internet user.

Of the three sites, Politico.com skewed the oldest with 23 percent of its visitors age 55 and older, while DrudgeReport.com skewed wealthiest, with 40 percent of its visitors earning at least $100,000 a year, and had the highest concentration of males at 57 percent. HuffingtonPost.com, the site with the largest audience, was the most similar of the three when compared to the overall U.S. Internet audience.

Demographic Profile of Visitors to Top 3 Political Blogs & News Sites
September 2008
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
  % Composition of Unique Visitors
Total U.S. Internet Huffington Post Politico Drudge Report
Total Audience 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Persons - Age        
 Persons: 12-17 10.5 5.4 3.6 2.9
 Persons: 18-24 12.0 9.0 6.5 7.1
 Persons: 25-34 15.4 15.6 14.9 15.1
 Persons: 35-44 18.6 25.3 26.5 24.7
 Persons: 45-54 17.5 20.7 19.7 23.3
Persons: 55-64 10.7 11.5 13.8 11.5
Persons: 65+ 5.9 7.1 9.5 9.5
Gender        
 Male 49.8 54.3 54.4 56.7
 Female 0.2 45.7 45.6 43.3
Household Income (US)        
 Under $25K 10.0 5.4 3.6 2.2
 $25,000 - 39,999 9.6 8.2 6.7 5.1
 $40,000 - 59,999 24.8 20.2 19.4 19.2
 $60,000 - 74,999 12.4 13.1 10.7 8.3
 $75,000 - 99,999 17.4 19.8 26.9 25.0
 $100,000 or more 25.7 33.4 32.6 40.2

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/boilerplate.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
comScore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

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