Obama leads McCain in race for the virtual White House

The United States presidential election looks set to go down to the wire, but there is one area where Democratic candidate Barak Obama is clearly leading his Republican rival John McCain – virtual friends.

The United States presidential election looks set to go down to the wire, but there is one area where Democratic candidate Barak Obama is clearly leading his Republican rival John McCain – virtual friends.

A report by the Pew Research Centre’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that Obama has 1.7 million Facebook supporters and 510,000 MySpace friends, compared to 309,000 and 88,000 respectively on the two internet sites for 72-year-old McCain.

On the vide-sharing site YouTube, 11 times more people had tuned into the official Obama channel last month than the McCain equivalent.

Researchers from Pew say Obama worked hard to connect with online voters early in the campaign, although McCain is desperately trying to make up ground.

Tapping into these online networks is seen as an important way to woo younger voters.

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