Today a reporter asked me whether I'd noticed, as he had, the sudden drop-off of interest in things political since the election and whether I'd seen this drop off registered in the traffic at TPM. I gave the matter some thought and looked over the traffic logs. And having done so and given him an answer, I thought I'd share what I told him with you. (And I assume, though I have no direct knowledge, that similar sites have had roughly similar experiences.)
The answer turns out to be that, yes, traffic is down substantially, but not nearly as much as I'd expected. And if you set aside the furious final month of the campaign, October, the viewership of the site hasn't fallen at all.
A few examples ...
In the last two weeks, the average number of weekday visits has hovered around 140,000. That is close to indistinguishable from the average in September and markedly higher than August.
In October, weekday daily visit totals never went below 165,000 and often went over 190,000. But it was only in the last week or so of the campaign that the real pre-election updraft began. Visits hit 223,000 on Monday, October 25th, the first day (I believe) they'd ever gone over 200,000. And they never went below 200,000 again until after the election.
So, I've tossed out a lot of numbers here. But the upshot seems to be that traffic to center-left political websites like TPM has been relatively unaffected by either the end of the election cycle or the Kerry defeat.