Interest in the 2006 midterm elections was exceptional and demonstrated staying power with news consumers while MSNBC.com attracted high traffic to its extensive politics coverage, including video and election results. Overall traffic to MSNBC.com reached 58 million page views, three times the traffic of 2002 midterm election day.
MSNBC.com's politics section, www.politics.msnbc.com powered by NBC News and The National Journal, saw its highest traffic this year with nearly 16 million page views. Visitors spent 20 minutes per visit on average at politics.msnbc.com. Interestingly, nearly 70% of total traffic to MSNBC.com's election day politics section arrived between 7:00 pm - midnight ET suggesting the Internet's critical place in news consumers' media mix. Traffic to MSNBC.com remained high throughout the night. At midnight on the West Coast site traffic was five times higher than normal levels.
Traffic to "First Read" (www.firstread.msnbc.com), NBC News' political blog also spiked on Tuesday. With 90 posts on Election Day from NBC News political analysts and more than 1,500 unique visitor comments, the blog generated 1 million page views throughout the day, 25 times the daily average.
The Democracy Dashboard delivered real-time results including a map with state-by-state results and returns on Senate, House and gubernatorial races, organized down to the county level. Launching on the site at 6pm ET, the tool attracted nearly half a million visits. Video streams from all-day live election coverage from MSNBC TV; the "Hot Switch," a feed of the best local coverage from NBC News Channel; and on-demand clips from "NBC Nightly News," "Today" and MSNBC TV reached more than 3 million for the day. Visitors watched more than 400,000 live streams of MSNBC TV, the third highest live video event of the year.