More than a quarter of the visitors to the campaign websites of Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Rudy Giuliani were under the age of 25 in the third quarter of 2007, according to data provided to U.S. News by Compete.com, a company that compiles demographic data on Web traffic.
By contrast, most of the other major competitors for the 2008 presidential nominations attracted their biggest audiences in older demographics. Only 13 percent of visitors to John Edwards's website were under 25, and 20 percent were between 55 and 64, for example. While a younger audience would be great news for a commercial website, which covets the 18-to-34 crowd that advertisers are most interested in, candidate sites operate under a different set of priorities.
People become more likely to vote as they get older, an argument for attracting an older group. But the verdict on that case will have to wait until after the election, when there are hard results to compare with data of this kind. Each of the three major candidates in both parties—excluding Fred Thompson, who announced too late for Compete.com's measurements—got 18 to 20 percent of their traffic from users 25 to 34 years old.
Interestingly, Obama's and Giuliani's demographics are nearly identical. Of the six candidates, only Hillary Clinton's site attracted more women than men.