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Red click, blue click*

September 6, 2007 |  4:42 pm

They aren’t exactly votes, but if the presidential election was decided by Web page views, it would be Democratic Sen. Barack Obama facing off against former Sen. Fred Thompson for the Republicans – with Obama winning in a landslide.

According to Nielsen/Net Ratings for July, Obama’s campaign site racked up 717,000 unique visitors who stayed around for an average of nearly eight minutes each – a long visit in the Web world. Sen. Hillary Clinton had 437,000 visitors who stayed for 8:17 – fewer eyes but more curious, at least judging by time spent. Former Sen. John Edwards drew 348,000 visitors who hit the site like a fast-food drive-thru, averaging 3:43.

The Republicans, who have lagged behind the Democrats in using the Internet, were led by Thompson – even before he announced – with 381,000 unique visitors to his old ImWithFred.com, though they didn’t find much to read, averaging 1:35 per visit. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani drew 124,000 visitors for an average of 7:33 each.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney drew 116,000 for an eyebrow-raising 49 seconds average (couldn’t they find anything to do on the site?). And signaling yet another competition in which he is fading fast, Sen. John McCain came in fifth among the Republicans, with 104,000 visitors averaging 1:47, lagging behind Texas congressman Ron Paul, who barely registers in polls but drew 113,000 visitors for an average of 6:52.

But McCain did lead all candidates in one category: online ad impressions, the number of times his ads popped up on commercial websites. He registered 7.6 million ad impressions, followed by Romney with 4.7 million and Democrat Dennis Kucinich with 820,000 impressions, then Clinton with 327,000.

-- Scott Martelle

*With apologies to Dr. Seuss