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Candidates’ Web sites have their pros, cons

Obama (Alex Brandon / The Spokesman-Review)
Obama (Alex Brandon / The Spokesman-Review)

A Web analysis of the sites of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain found that the “look” of Obama’s site was preferred to his Republican rival’s site, but most users thought that McCain’s site overall was easier to use.

“With battle-tested sites, substantial resources and four months left in the election (from the time the survey was done), we wondered which campaign site made it easiest for the average voter to donate funds, communicate positions, and organize supporters,” said Catalyst Group CEO Nick Gould.

The Catalyst Group conducted the survey — with just 15 undecided voters — in late June.

The study learned that 11 in the test group said they favored McCain’s site, and four favored Obama’s.

“The surprise was that both candidates’ Web platforms appear to have made unnecessary compromises that leave voters confused and raise questions about the fundamental function of such sites.”

Data from show that in July, Obama’s site had twice the daily number of visitors – 1.8 million compared with about 831,000 for McCain. — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers scored a 100 percent voting score from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but a big fat zero from Human Rights Campaign and 75 percent from the National Retail Federation.

That data was quickly retrieved from a Congressional scoresheet at Votesmart, a site operated by the non-partisan group Center for Independence in Congress. The group will mail you a free Voters’ Self-Defense System booklet with additional details on how to be a well-prepared voter.