Friday, April 6, 2007

Most Searched ='s 2008 Presidential Cash?$?

Senator Barack Obama

Run for the Money
By Vera H-C Chan
Thu, April 05, 2007, 1:59 pm PDT

Senator Barack Obama played coy, but he finally cashed in his fundraising chips and showed that he had raised $25 million in the first quarter of 2007, just a cool mil under fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton's $26 million record-breaker.

Their successes have been partially credited to Web fundraising strategies. The Internet has proven to be a great equalizer, especially for Obama, who reported half his donors contributed through his web site.

Still, neither the people nor the pundits should be surprised by the junior Senator's first-quarter numbers, or that Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney out-earned John McCain (who has a new finance guy).

Obama and Clinton have been playing a game of Buzz leapfrog week to week, while Romney's queries have surpassed that of McCain and Giuliani. Dollars may not translate into election-booth support, but people might put their money where their searches are...

Top 10 Presidential contenders in Search: March 2007

Barack Obama (raised $25 mil)
Hillary Rodham Clinton ($26 mil)
John Edwards ($14 mil)
Mitt Romney ($23 mil)
Rudy Giuliani ($15 mil)
John McCain ($12.5 mil)
Ron Paul (not yet announced)
Bill Richardson ($6 mil
Dennis Kucinich (not yet announced)
Sam Brownback ($1.9 million)

A few notes on the month gone by...

—A Time magazine cover, his book, and a slew of public appearances helped Obama's searches. He drew 22% more queries than Clinton during March, but his Buzz declined 42% during the month, compared to Clinton's 8% drop.

—The news of Elizabeth Edwards' cancer pushed John Edwards' buzz up 174%. However, prior to the announcement Edwards had been in the middle of the pack, trailing Rudy Giuliani.

—On the Republican side, Mitt Romney took the lead over Giuliani (with the good people of Utah helping to boost the former Mass guv's buzz), while John McCain lost his slim lead over the former New York City mayor.

Cash-poor candidates may have to make hard decisions soon because final fundraising numbers are due April 15. At least that gives them two extra days to write off any losses on their taxes.