Independent Activity

Independent of potential presidential candidates, their advocates (and sometimes their opponents) are active on the Web working to spread the word. The sites include active communities with a number of contributors, others that are the handiworks of one or two dedicated supporters, and more one-dimensional, static sites that are effectively online brochures. Some of the sites are serious "draft" efforts designed to show and foster support.  Some are less serious, put up to hawk bumperstickers or to draw traffic to another website. The sites range in sophistication from highly polished websites communicating across a number of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MeetUp groups and so forth) to simple blogs. Content typically includes recent articles and video clips, oftentimes there is a comment or discussion component, and sometimes there may be merchandise available. Independent on-line efforts can occasionally lead to off-line activity such as information tables at a political conferences or meetings. Some of the independent sites have an element of fan club boosterism, and tend to echo or repeat content from a potential candidate's official site, while others can be more thoughtful or thought-provoking. The independent sites typically have limited lifespans. Some peter out as the authors run into time constraints or lose interest. If the principal makes it clear that he or she will not be a candidate or announces as a candidate the dynamics change, and the motivation disappears. It is interesting to consider whether there is a correlation between the amount of independent pre-campaign/pre-primary activity and the success or lack of success a campaign may encounter should the principal decide to become a candidate. In the 2012 pre-campaign period, 2009-10, former Gov. Sarah Palin has inspired far and away the most activity (see the special section below). Here sampling of activity from the early pre-primary period:

older (June 2010)
grabs from Dec. 25, 2010*
*plus updated Feb. 17, 2011


*Recent additions (date added)
Jan. 17, 2011
Jan. 18, 2011
Jan. 28, 2011
Feb. 13, 2011
Feb. 13, 2011
Feb. 13, 2011
Feb. 13, 2011
Feb. 17, 2011



no longer present

Compare 2008 cycle (bottom part of page)

Examples of Unofficial Activity on Facebook
Jan. 1, 2011-Some of these figures have several Facebook groups encouraging them to run and there are many more not included here.
Haley Barbour for President (info)  Administrator: Michael.  First posting Jan. 22, 2007, but really starts June 2009.  Most recent posting Dec. 26, 2010.  1,958 members.

John Bolton for President (info)  First posting on Nov. 10, 2010.  Most recent posting Dec. 31, 2010.  921 people like.

Draft Chris Christie for President (2012) (info)  Leadership team: Heath Mayo, Garrett Sweitzer, Bryce Benter, Billy Bernardoni.  First posting on Nov. 9, 2010.  Most recent posting Dec. 12, 2010.  598 people like.

Mitch Daniels for President 2012 (info)  Administrators: Brad Green, Shep Bauer, Nathan Young.  Most recent posting Dec. 31, 2010.  3,326 members.  [More: 1,2,3]

Draft Jim DeMint (info)  First posting on July 23, 2010.  Most recent posting Dec. 5, 2010.  104 people like.  Draft Jim DeMint.

Draft Newt Gingrich for President (2012) (info)  First posting on Sept. 1, 2010.  Most recent posting Dec. 27, 2010.  467 people like.  TeamGingrich.

Gary Johnson for President 2012 (info)  Administrators: Aaron Biterman, Prashant, Charles.  Most recent posting Jan. 1, 2011.  3,175 members.

Sarah Palin for President (info)  Adminstrators: Randy Highsmith, Steve, David and Jason Miller.  Most recent posting Dec. 31, 2010.  11,511 members.

Ron Paul for President in 2012 (info)  Administrators: Vox Stimme, Kaz Vorpal.  Most recent posting Dec. 28, 2010.  3,911 members.

Draft Tim Pawlenty (info) - First posting on Nov. 9, 2010.  Most recent posting Nov. 13, 2010.  11 people like.

Draft Mike Pence (info) - First posting on Nov. 9, 2010.  Most recent posting Nov. 14, 2010.  32 people like.

Mitt Romney for President 2012 (info)   Administrators: Dan Chisolm, Ty Ralston, Ross Abraham, Aaron Coffey.  Most recent posting Dec. 30, 2010.  23,483 members.

Rick Santorum for President (info)  Administrator: Bethany Renee Kirschner. First posting on Feb. 27, 2007.  Most recent posting Sept. 25, 2010.  151 members.

John Thune for President, 2012 (info)  Administrator: Jim Worhach.  First posting on Nov. 19, 2008.  Most recent posting Dec. 5, 2010.  941 members.


Mike Huckabee for President 2012! (info)  Administrators: David Schmidt, Sarah Huckabee, Dawn, John, Lauren and Jake Charles.  Most recent posting Jan. 1.  26,449 members.

Draft Winona LaDuke for President 2012 (info)  First posting on Nov. 14, 2010.  Most recent posting Dec. 20, 2010.  93 people like.