Regular readers of this blog probably know that I've been looking at the popularity of Barack Obama and John McCain on various torrent sites over the last few months. To be honest, I don't necessarily consider this a very accurate way to predict the election, and it's becoming much less meaningful as time goes by.

Early on, Obama supporters mostly traded his speeches and books. Now you get not only SNL clips, but also an amazing amount of ABBA recordings and other stuff dedicated to the candidate.

pic of obama nfo

A political message in an NFO file as the warez scene's attempt to get out the vote is pretty interesting in itself, but it makes looking at seeders and leechers kind of pointless, because obviously not every ABBA downloader supports Obama.

Search on the other hand is a little more significant. Take a look at this graphic from Google Trends for example:

pic of google trends obama vs mccain

Doesn't that almost look like the Rasmussen Poll? McCain is up in September. Then the credit crisis hits the US and Obama's ratings go through the roof ...

Of course this leaves one question: if P2P users overwhelmingly support Obama, who is the P2P industry rooting for? I went over to Opensecrets to find out - and, guess what? Most of the people working in P2P start-ups favor the Democrat as well, and they're willing to spend big bucks to get him into the white house.

Pando CEO Robert Levitan gave Obama 2300 dollars during the primaries and 1000 dollars during the general election. Joost CEO Mike Volpi donated 2300 dollars to the Obama campaign, and one of his managers signed a check for an additional 550 bucks. P2P set top box maker Vudu's employees came up with 1150 dollars. The folks from Skype were even more generous, donating a total of 10,200 dollars to the Obama campaign.

Also in the Obama camp: Bittorrent Inc., where three people have given a total of 1000 bucks to the Democrat's campaign. Among the donors: Bram Cohen, Bittorrent inventor and company co-founder, who actually donated his 250 dollars before the primaries had even started. Two folks at Limewire gave a total of 550 dollars to Obama.

McCain on the other hand doesn't seem to have a lot of backers in the P2P industry. I couldn't find a single donor working at a P2P start-up that gave money to his campaign. To be fair, I might have overlooked a few start-ups, but all the ones that came to mind are either employing Obama supporters or no donors at all.

But there's at least one name on the list of McCain donors that will ring a bell with P2P users: RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol maxed out his donations for the Republican with two checks totaling 2300 dollars.

Tags: , , , , , ,