We’ve been working on a study testing how effectively this year’s Senate candidates are using the Internet for their campaign websites. The study won’t be released for a few days, but so far we have been able to identify some of the best campaign websites out there. These websites stand out because they successfully present seemingly complicated web tools in a clear and user-friendly fashion, allowing every-day voters to get involved, while simultaneously adding personality and down-to-earth qualities to the candidate’s platforms. Here are some of our favorites:

By far the best campaign website was used by Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Her website offers more web tools than any other senatorial campaign websites, and was very easy to navigate. Her website has the most extensive action center of all the candidates, providing tools to create individual fundraising campaigns, track team progress, and to host house parties. She also offers an extensive download gallery, information to buy Hillary gear, and a full Spanish version of her website. While her site lacks some personal touches such as a blog or podcasts, the technical and team-oriented aspects of her website provide a great example for other candidates.

Hillary's Senate Campaign Website

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) also offered an effective website that used a unique feature: text message updates for Bingaman news. Senator Bingaman was the only candidate to use this service, so he gets some creativity points there.

Jeff Bingaman Action Center

Jim Webb‘s (D-VA) was one of the only websites to offer fundraising campaigns. He also as an up-to-date blog with RSS and a catchy slogan–“Born Fighting!”

Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D-TX) has another great website. Complete with podcasts, near-daily blog entries, a large gallery of downloads, as well as an online store and variety of video files, Barabara definitely had one of the best websites.

Finally, Senator George Allen (R-VA) gets points for his “Special Teams” feature, where he uses an analogy with a football team to grab the attention of voters.

While Olympia Snowe’s (R-ME) website did not involve a lot of technology, its creative layout, user-friendly qualities, and inclusion of photos throughout the website’s pages gave her campaign site a “down home” kind of feeling.