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Election spurs tidal wave of Web traffic

Web sites ranging from presidential candidates' official home pages to popular news outlets and blogs all experienced heavy traffic Tuesday. Photos: E-ballots and the 2004 election

The U.S. presidential election drove millions of people online Tuesday, with traffic soaring for candidate sites, news outlets and Web logs.

According to the latest numbers from Internet statisticians ComScore Networks, both the Bush-Cheney '04 and the Kerry-Edwards 2004 sites

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recorded many more hits than they averaged on a typical Tuesday. President Bush, who appeared Wednesday morning to have been re-elected, received 380,000 visits to his Web site, or 101 percent more than usual, while Sen. Kerry's site charted 480,000 hits, 128 percent higher than usual.

On Monday, landed 317,000 visits, roughly 3 percent more than Kerry's site, which tallied 306,000. Traffic to the Kerry site was 128 percent higher than a typical Monday, while the Bush site was up by 103 percent, ComScore said.

News providers also received large amounts of Web traffic on Tuesday. The Washington Post site charted 1.1 million visits, an increase of 98 percent from its daily average, while that of Fox News generated 1.8 million visits--roughly 73 percent more traffic than usual.

Other news companies had similar spikes, with receiving 5.6 million hits, a 63 percent increase; The New York Times on the Web reached 944,000 visits, up 32 percent; the Drudge Report garnered 980,000 visits, a 60 percent uptick; and received 62,000 visits, a massive 450 percent jump from its daily average.

Another genre of sites attracting large numbers of surfers were Web logs, or blogs, which increasingly flexed their muscles as an emerging source of election-related information throughout the 2004 campaign.

Several well-known blogs led the way, such as Daily Kos, a political-analysis site, which charted 86,000 hits, a 250 percent increase from its historical Tuesday numbers. While ComScore did not have absolute numbers for Wonkette, another politically oriented blog, the research company said the site drew 240 percent more traffic than usual.

Blog-hosting sites also experienced high levels of traffic Tuesday, including Blogger, which generated 333,000 visits, a 10 percent increase over its daily average, and TypePad, which attracted 95,000 hits, a 30 percent increase.