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Cristian Vaccari, "A tale of two e-parties: Candidate websites in the 2008 US presidential primaries," Party Politics, 19 (January, 2013), 19-40. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol19/issue1/ ]

First paragraph:
The Internet has become a fundamental campaigning tool in the United States (US). In the spring of 2008, 46 percent of Americans reported that they used the web, email, or text messaging for purposes related to the presidential primary.1 After the general election, 36 percent claimed that the Internet was one of their two main sources of information about the campaign, second only to television; the majority of respondents (56 percent) claimed to have got some campaign news online.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Results of dynamic latent trait analysis of website features
Table 1. Mean values of information and participation variables and indexes Rep Dem All
Table 2. Candidate average index values
Table 3. Results of regression equations predicting website index values

Last Paragraph:
The most significant finding is the party divide between Democratic and Republican candidates' websites. Previous research has claimed that adoption of online campaigning by political actors depends on internal variables such as party resources, incentives, and philosophical orientation (Nixon et al., 2003: 241). Future research should attempt at disentangling this causal puzzle and continue assessing the competitive outlook of web campaigning, as the gap that I found between Democratic and Republican candidates may have momentous implications for US party competition given the Internet's growing electoral relevance.

Last updated December 2012