It goes without argument that the Internet will play a big role in the 2008 presidential election, but I don’t think anyone expected that an Internet based grassroots campaign could effectively level the playing field for unknown candidates like former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. But that’s exactly what is happening. Over the course of a few days, a candidate unbeknown to virtually everyone has generated buzz on the Internet like we’ve never seen before.
As the graph above shows, Mike Gravel’s website now rivals that of the top tiered candidates in the race in reach, traffic and page views. What’s even more amazing is that this happened in just under a week’s time, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Now of course this is only representative of Internet popularity, but with the new media on the Internet beginning to rival and even influencing old media mediums like television, this news is significant.
Update: As of May 3rd there has been a significant pitfall in traffic to Mike Gravel’s website, which would normally indicate that he’s lost all momentum, but in actuality the traffic is merely diverting to Students For Gravel, a new website that is devoted to building a grassroots campaign of students supporting Mike Gravel. Here’s an image of the graph as it appears today.