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The Hill: Five Internet Titans Who Could Shape the Presidential Race

Image: The Hill: Five Internet Titans Who Could Shape the Presidential Race
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 23 Apr 2016 01:40 PM


The presidential election is unfolding online as much as inside voting booths, with five Internet titans potentially wielding "outsized influence" in the race, according to The Hill.

"Social media has become one of the most powerful ways to reach voters, with candidates in both parties using the technology to raise money, distribute ads and win over supporters," The Hill notes, adding online news and video sites are becoming the place where campaigns "compete to 'drive the narrative' with their preferred storylines."

The Hill selected five "Internet power brokers" who are especially influential in the process: Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg: Drudge Report founder Matt Drudge; HBO's "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver; Huffington Post creator Arianna Huffington; and Act Blue online fundraising executive Erin Hill.

"Zuckerberg's real power rests with the product he created, which is used by about seven in 10 Americans," The Hill writes in a post Saturday, noting that it's been used in the 2016 race by presidential candidates to recruit and advertise.

The Drudge Report, The Hill writes, "still has one of the most powerful news platforms on the Internet, with the ability to push stories into the political bloodstream." In the presidential race, it's been sympathetic to GOP front-runner Donald Trump – to the point that rival Sen. Ted Cruz has blasted it as "the attack site for the Trump campaign."

Former Comedy Central comedian Oliver, meanwhile, has made his mark on YouTube with posted segments of his HBO weekly show. Oliver recently devoted a full episode to Trump and his family name "Drumpf," an episode that had more than 3 million viewers.

Though Huffington stirred controversy last year by briefly putting all Donald Trump news under its "entertainment" section, her Huffington Post still adds an excoriating editors note blasting Trump on every story about him, The Hill writes.

ComScore ranked the Huffington Post's politics page as the top trafficked political news site last December, with 25 million unique visitors, though the number is challenged by other outlets, The Hill reports.

Finally, Hill's Act Blue site is processing more donations than ever before because of the record fundraising of Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders, The Hill reports.

In February, the company processed nearly $59 million from about 2 million Sanders donors, and the next month, churned through a record $72 million-plus from 2.4 million donors, The Hill reports.

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Politics
The presidential election is unfolding online as much as inside voting booths, with five Internet titans potentially wielding "outsized influence" in the race, according to The Hill.
Social Media, Internet, Election, Presidential Race, Politics
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2016-40-23
Saturday, 23 Apr 2016 01:40 PM
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