Nowadays, one can pick up a domain name for $10 a year. However, the name of that domain can be priceless. When people go to look people up, especially politicians, they do the name.com. However, the politician does not always own the website. This is sometimes due to a candidate’s lack of Internet preparation, or simply not having a common name. The first is especially common for long serving incumbents, who don’t always need a website. Gary Johnson is an example of the second reason. GaryJohnson.com is owned by a painter, forcing the Libertarian to use GaryJohnson2012.com.
There are multiple reasons to own name.com. The first is pure simplicity. If they know your name, they know your URL. The second is the always crucial search engine optimization. If you are trying to run a campaign from an URL that has nothing to do with the candidate, you will suffer on search engines, such as Google.
During the fight between Ron Paul and the supporters who run RonPaul.com, the supporters say they bought the candidate’s election websites in order to prevent “enemies” from getting them. While some may laugh at the allegation, it has happened before. When Chuck Hagel was nominated for Secretary of Defense, anybody that went to ChuckHagel.com, did not get what they expected. ChuckHagel.com is owned by a pro-Israel group that opposes the nomination. The site gets great search engine optimization, and unassuming visitors.