Micah Sifry over at Personal Democracy has an interesting post looking at how well Democratic Presidential candidates are doing on MySpace and at generating blog links. 

All of this should be taking with a huge grain of salt, as online buzz/support doesn’t always translate that well.  Although I would argue is is more meaningful for primary elections than general.  With those disclaimers, here are some observations about Micah’s post:

(1) When you compare the latest national polls to Micah’s data, it seems pretty clear that Barack Obama is generating online buzz/support at a higher rate than his national polling numbers indicate he should.  Obama is 20-30 points behind Hillary Clinton in polls of likely Democrat voters.   Obama and Clinton are pretty much even though in terms of MySpace members and blog buzz

I think this is a case of the online buzz perhaps being ahead of the national polls.  Clinton and Obama being about dead even feels right to me and I’d guess that is where things will be in six months.

(2) I was somewhat suprised that John Edwards was a distant third to Obama and Clinton in Micah’s online measures, pretty much in the same spot he is in the polls.  Why?  Edwards is branding himself as the “social media” candidate and is playing aggressively in the blogosphere and on the social networking sites.  

(3) In his post, Micah notes that Democrats are way ahead of Republilcans in terms of online buzz.  I think comparisons within parties are much more valuable than those across party.  The liberal and conservative online communities are very different in the tools they use and they way they congregate.  Republicans just aren’t going to use MySpace and Facebook the way Democrat’s do.  And frankly they shouldn’t.  This isn’t just a field they are going to play that much on. 

I think this fact also makes Micah’s comparison of Democrats much more meaningful than the one he did comparing the Republican candidates.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.