Republicans are claiming new media domination in the healthcare debate set to wrap up today.
House Republicans said that a flood of traffic and page views flowed into GOP websites this weekend, and that thousands of new followers signed up to follow @GOPLeader, the Twitter page for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
"The numbers don’t lie; when the American people went looking for the straight story on Washington Democrats’ government takeover of health care online, they went straight to the GOP," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner. "This is just another example of how Republicans are dominating the field of forward-looking direct media.”
Republicans touted the numbers of views that flowed into the videos they posted on YouTube over the weekend, with 425,000 viewers flowing to one video of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) appearing to say Democrats make up rules as they go along. (That video was posted atop the conservative Drudge Report.) Boehner's floor speech against the health bill also drew 105,000 viewers.
The GOP also said it was "crushed" but new followers on Twitter over the weekend, pointing to statistics showing them as having picked up almost 3,000 new followers between March 18th and Wednesday.
But Republicans also needled Democrats for their Twitter presence during the debate, noting: "Judging by the Leader and Speaker’s Twitter accounts – Speaker Pelosi has yet to send one tweet and Leader Hoyer follows no other users - Democrats aren’t interested in listening at all." (Emphasis theirs.)
Update, 1:37 p.m.: A spokeswoman for the House Republican Conference emails to note the GOP.gov website has received approximately 80,000 hits since Friday, too.
Cross-posted to Hillicon Valley.