Who will be the Republican candidate for president of the Internet?

In the alternate universe where pageviews count as votes, Ron Paul unseated President Howard Dean in the 2008 election. So I’m a little skeptical that attempts to measure the "digital footprint" of candidates really tells us anything about their actually standing in this universe’s U.S. presidential election. That said, Peakscore’s online presence ranking — here’s ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

In the alternate universe where pageviews count as votes, Ron Paul unseated President Howard Dean in the 2008 election. So I'm a little skeptical that attempts to measure the "digital footprint" of candidates really tells us anything about their actually standing in this universe's U.S. presidential election. That said, Peakscore's online presence ranking -- here's a short explanation of how it's calculated -- is kinda funny.

The Donald's still riding high at no. 1, despite having dropped out of the race. (To be fair, he's got some other sources of publicity.) Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels are in the top 10 as well. Here are the top 10 candidates who are actually in the race or theoretically may still enter it (I don't count Scott Brown):

1. Sarah Palin

In the alternate universe where pageviews count as votes, Ron Paul unseated President Howard Dean in the 2008 election. So I’m a little skeptical that attempts to measure the "digital footprint" of candidates really tells us anything about their actually standing in this universe’s U.S. presidential election. That said, Peakscore’s online presence ranking — here’s a short explanation of how it’s calculated — is kinda funny.

The Donald’s still riding high at no. 1, despite having dropped out of the race. (To be fair, he’s got some other sources of publicity.) Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels are in the top 10 as well. Here are the top 10 candidates who are actually in the race or theoretically may still enter it (I don’t count Scott Brown):

1. Sarah Palin

2. Paul Ryan

3. Ron Paul

4. Newt Gingrich

5. Tim Pawlenty

6. Herman Cain

7. Mitt Romney

8. Michele Bachmann

9. Rick Perry

10 Rudy Giuliani

Takeaway observations:

1. People on the internet are not nearly as interested in Jon Huntsman as people in Washington are. (He scores slightly below Thad McCotter)

2. Online presence is not a very good indicator of who will win the nomination. (Someone needs to tell John King.)

Takeaway question: 

In the alternate universe I mentioned earlier, is Sarah Palin challenging President Paul in the GOP primary or is she still a little-known governor from Alaska because John McCain was never nominated? Discuss. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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