According to the online crowd, the New Hampshire winners will be ...

... Obama for the Democrats and McCain or Huckabee on the Republican side

Democrat Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) continues his online surge in New Hampshire, while Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are duking it out on the Republican side to become the most popular Internet candidate, according to new measurements. Several measurements of Web traffic and popularity on Web 2.0 sites were fairly accurate indicators of the outcome of last week's Iowa Caucus, with online marketer Hitwise Pty. noting that Obama also led Democrats in online traffic from Iowans on the eve of that state's caucuses last week while Huckabee trailed only online fundraising sensation Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) there on the Republican side.  

The Web 2.0 event site Eventful, which allows voters to "demand" or request that a candidate visit their hometown, noted that Obama and Huckabee (the winning candidates) had the most demands from Iowa residents among the presidential hopefuls. Each had requests to speak in more than 60 Iowa cities, more than any other candidates, Eventful noted.

According to data Eventful released Monday, Obama has amassed more than 2,000 "demands" to visit communities since the caucus, to lead the Democratic field. McCain and Huckabee are neck-and-neck as the two most demanded Republicans in New Hampshire. The Eventful data shows that Obama has been "demanded" to visit more than 50 locations throughout New Hampshire, while McCain and Huckabee are sought by Eventful users in 28 and 32 places, respectively.

Both Obama and McCain are resonating with younger voters in New Hampshire, according to Eventful data. Obama's supporters on that site average 26.4 years old while McCain's average 26.8. Huckabee's supporters are older, with an average age of 33.7, according to Eventful.

"We see almost all of the candidates using Eventful's demand service as a way to engage young audiences and get out the youth vote," said Eventful CEO Jordan Glazier, in a statement. "Sen. Obama, Sen. McCain and Mike Huckabee have been particularly successful in engaging grass-roots supporters through Eventful, evidenced by the fact that they are the most demanded candidates in New Hampshire. As technology and the Internet evolve, it enables a two-way dialog between candidates and voters, as well as a vehicle for empowering young voters to influence the political process."

Hitwise data in New Hampshire, also released Monday, shows that Obama's campaign site is receiving the most traffic in the state among all the candidates, and that his site ranks first in Hitwise's politics category, which includes rankings of sites other than candidate Web sites.

Rival Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-N.Y.) campaign site ranked fourth in the politics category, with former Sen. John Edwards coming in at No. 5, Hitwise noted. Among Republicans, Huckabee leads the state in terms of Internet traffic to his site in sixth place, with McCain ranking 13th.

"The big change when comparing this week's chart with last is how far Huckabee has risen, to now overtake John McCain as the Republican candidate with the most visits from New Hampshire residents," noted Bill Tancer, Hitwise's general manager of global research, in a blog post. "Noticeably missing from the Republican side are Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. While Huckabee's rise this week may be a result of curiosity given his win in Iowa, it will be interesting to see how closely Tuesday's New Hampshire results map to Internet visits."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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