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October 22, 2008 at 11:41 AM EDT
Huffington Post and Politico Lead Wave of Explosive Growth at Independent Political Blogs and News Sites this Election Season

RESTON, Va., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- comScore, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study of visitation to political blogs and news sites during the 2008 presidential election season, which showed strong gains at most sites compared to year ago. HuffingtonPost.com led among a group of selected stand-alone political blogs and news sites with 4.5 million visitors in September, up 472 percent versus year ago, while Politico.com attracted 2.4 million visitors (up 344 percent) and DrudgeReport.com saw 2.1 million visitors (up 70 percent).

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080115/COMSCORELOGO)

"With each new election cycle, the Internet is playing a more significant role in shaping the stories of the day that are so crucial in formulating public opinion on issues and candidates," said Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst at comScore. "That most mainstream news outlets now have their own political blogs is a testament to their increasing reach and influence. However, several independent blogs unaffiliated with larger media outlets paved the way in this space and are really beginning to enter the mainstream public consciousness with this current election cycle."


    Selected Stand-Alone* Political Blogs & News Sites
    September 2008 vs. September 2007
    Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations
    Source: comScore Media Metrix
                                           Total Unique Visitors (000)
                                   Sep-2007        Sep-2008      % Change
    Total Internet: Total Audience  181,858         189,468             4
    HUFFINGTONPOST.COM                  792           4,545           474
    POLITICO.COM                        532           2,362           344
    DRUDGEREPORT.COM                  1,215           2,059            70
    REALCLEARPOLITICS.COM               192           1,129           489
    FREEREPUBLIC.COM                  1,022             987            -3
    Capitol Advantage                   794             959            21
    DAILYKOS.COM                        192             923           381
    TOWNHALL.COM                        407             884           117
    NEWSBUSTERS.ORG                     113             732           547
    WORLDNETDAILY.COM                   411             636            55
    TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM                32             458         1,321
    MICHELLEMALKIN.COM                  103             247           140
    REDSTATE.COM                         38             235           514
    CROOKSANDLIARS.COM                  122             218            79
    RAWSTORY.COM                        219             212            -3
    POLLSTER.COM                        N/A             194           N/A
    MEDIAMATTERS.ORG                    145             178            23
    FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM                 N/A             169           N/A
    CQPOLITICS.COM                      N/A             139           N/A
    AMERICABLOG.COM                     N/A             104           N/A

    * Stand-alone refers to blogs unaffiliated with larger news properties,
      such as the New York Times Caucus Blog or Time's "The Page".


    Some additional findings include:

-- September represented the single biggest month on record for both HuffingtonPost.com and Politico.com since their respective launches.

-- Several sites dedicated to political poll-watching achieved notable gains. RealClearPolitics.com, which tracks composites of polls by state, attracted 1.1 million visitors in September, up 489 percent versus year ago. Two other polling-oriented sites, Pollster.com with 194,000 visitors and FiveThirtyEight.com with 169,000 visitors, also saw notable traffic in September.

-- The top conservative leaning blog, FreeRepublic.com, actually saw marginal declines versus year ago, though it still attracted nearly 1 million visitors in September. Other conservative blogs, such as Newsbusters.org (up 547 percent to 732,000 visitors), WorldNetDaily.com (up 55 percent to 636,000 visitors) and MichelleMalkin.com (up 140 percent to 247,000 visitors) saw strong gains.

Political Blog Visitors Skew Older and Wealthier Than Average Americans

Looking at the demographic profiles for the top three sites, HuffingtonPost.com, Politico.com and DrudgeReport.com, one can conclude that visitors to these sites tend to be older, wealthier, and more likely to be male than the average U.S. Internet user.

Of the three sites, Politico.com skewed the oldest with 23 percent of its visitors age 55 and older, while DrudgeReport.com skewed wealthiest, with 40 percent of its visitors earning at least $100,000 a year, and had the highest concentration of males at 57 percent. HuffingtonPost.com, the site with the largest audience, was the most similar of the three when compared to the overall U.S. Internet audience.


    Demographic Profile of Visitors to Top 3 Political Blogs & News Sites
    September 2008
    Total U.S. - Home/Work/University Locations
    Source: comScore Media Metrix
                                   % Composition of Unique Visitors
                            Total U.S.   Huffington
                             Internet       Post      Politico   Drudge Report
    Total Audience            100.0        100.0        100.0        100.0
    Persons - Age
      Persons: 12-17           10.5          5.4          3.6          2.9
      Persons: 18-24           12.0          9.0          6.5          7.1
      Persons: 25-34           15.4         15.6         14.9         15.1
      Persons: 35-44           18.6         25.3         26.5         24.7
      Persons: 45-54           17.5         20.7         19.7         23.3
      Persons: 55-64           10.7         11.5         13.8         11.5
      Persons: 65+              5.9          7.1          9.5          9.5
    Gender
      Male                     49.8         54.3         54.4         56.7
      Female                   50.2         45.7         45.6         43.3
    Household Income (US)
      Under $25K               10.0          5.4          3.6          2.2
      $25,000 - 39,999          9.6          8.2          6.7          5.1
      $40,000 - 59,999         24.8         20.2         19.4         19.2
      $60,000 - 74,999         12.4         13.1         10.7          8.3
      $75,000 - 99,999         17.4         19.8         26.9         25.0
      $100,000 or more         25.7         33.4         32.6         40.2

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit http://www.comscore.com/boilerplate.

SOURCE comScore, Inc.

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