U.S. Presidential Candidates Cash In With E-Commerce Technology

According to the November 22nd issue of PRWeek, U.S. presidential candidate Bill Bradley has combined e-commerce technology, an increasingly-popular message and the reach of the Internet to raise the most cyber dollars for the 2000 presidential campaign.

The same technology that has propelled e-commerce is also functioning as the method through which candidates solicit and collect campaign donations online. By utilizing the same security and encryption methods that are now found on many e-commerce sites, candidates have been able to capitalize on increased consumer confidence in online transactions.

Bradley Raises $650,000 Online

Bradley’s site, billbradley.com, led the pack by raising a total of $650,000 (US$), followed by GOP challenger John McCain, whose site, mccain2000.com has brought in $260,000.

GOP front-runner George W. Bush and commentator-turned Reform Party upstart Patrick J. Buchanan have raised $90,000 from georgewbush.com and gopatgo2000.com, respectively.

Rounding out the top six are Vice-President Al Gore, with $80,000 from algore2000.com, and GOP hopeful Steve Forbes with $30,000 from forbes2000.com.

The PRWeek panel of judges, which included political and Internet consultants, rated each of the sites on ease-of-use, design, interactivity, timeliness, content/features, effectiveness and message delivery.

Billbradley.com achieved the most consistently high ratings. Bradley’s site was judged to have the best message delivery, providing the best representation of the candidate’s messages and general image.

The site has attracted 650,000 unique visitors since last December, with almost half of those logging on during the past two months.

Mccain.com received high marks for its message delivery. Judges noted that the site’s candidate bio “makes good use of his war record without being corny. This is a rare thing: A site that makes you actually like the candidate.”

Bush and Buchanan At Bottom

Georgewbush.com was considered middle-of-the-road in most categories. Judges were unimpressed with its timeliness, since the latest news on the site was two days old. Judges also noted that the site “looks like the site of a candidate who feels he doesn’t have to try too hard.”

However, the only site ranking lower than Bush’s was Buchanan’s gopatgo2000.com. Judges noted that “Buchanan comes across as a crotchety figure obsessed with things people have said about him.”

Panel Of Political Consultants

PRWeek’s judges included GOP Web consultant Robert Arena; Bill Greener, a Republican consultant with Greener & Hook; Democrat consultant Phil Noble; Paul Simpson, Internet editorial consultant and columnist for The Net magazine; and Steven Lilienthal, Washington, DC correspondent for PRWeek.

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