Videos Mentioning Obama or Romney Top 2 Billion Views

The U.S. election is heating up, and we’re not just talking about the humidity in Tampa. Since April 2011, when Romney officially entered the race, close to 600,000 videos mentioning Obama or Romney have been uploaded to YouTube, and these videos account for close to 2 billion views.

Topping the list of these videos is baracksdubs’ “Barack Obama Singing Call Me Maybe,” which has racked up over 24 million views in just a few months.

Political pop song parodies are on the rise in general. In the past month, this Gotye parody titled, “Obama That I Used to Know” and a more humorous One Direction parody about Romney have both crossed the million view mark and hit the YouTube Trending Videos list.

It’s not just light-hearted fare that have people tuning in. Since the primaries began, there have been more than 100 million views of official presidential candidate videos on YouTube.

In fact, in just the last 30 days, people have spent more than 20 cumulative years watching official videos of Obama and Romney (that’s two years longer than Justin Bieber has been alive).

And new uploads from Obama and Romney’s official YouTube channels are gaining traction quickly, with videos receiving hundreds of thousands of views within a few days of upload. The latest video on Obama for America’s YouTube channel has received over 217,000 views in just 24 hours. And since Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, he has seen a surge in both channel subscribers (a 300% increase since the Ryan announcement) and views. Their first video together, “America’s Comeback Team” has racked up over 1.1 million views in two weeks and is the second most-viewed video on the Romney channel:

We’ll be tracking the political trends on YouTube until Election Day. To keep your finger on the pulse of political video, and to watch up-to-the-minute live and on-demand coverage from the campaign trail, visit the YouTube Elections Hub at or follow YouTube Politics here.

Political Videos of the Week: Gingrich Out and More

A number of U.S. political videos are spreading quickly this week.

Today, candidate Newt Gingrich gave advance notice to his supporters via a YouTube video that he will be dropping out of the presidential race this week. It's quickly seeing pick up on political blogs and news sites:

Meanwhile, President Obama revealed his campaign slogan for the 2012 election in this top trending video and 7-minute documentary.

The President also has had two other very popular videos/appearances hit our trending feeds this week: his "duet" with Jimmy Fallon "Slow Jamming the News" and his remarks at this past weekend's White House Correspondent's Dinner.

For his part, GOP candidate Mitt Romney also has a video on our most-shared list right now: a critical spot called "Broken Promises."

Super Tuesday: Most Viewed GOP Videos This Season

Today's Super Tuesday in the United States with 10 states holding primary elections to help determine which Republican candidate will be selected to run against President Barack Obama this Fall.

We went through the data and saw that videos posted by the official GOP candidate channels were viewed over 40 million times since last the start of last June. Taking a look at the top 10 most viewed clips in that bunch (below) reveals that it was Governor Rick Perry who drew the most attention.

The Top Political Videos of 2011

From candidate ads to pundit debates, speeches from the White House to impassioned pleas from the American heartland, this year’s most-viewed political videos show us that a message that resonates can come from anywhere -- and anyone.

Surpassing the President and various presidential hopefuls in views, the #1 video on our list comes from a young man in Iowa speaking candidly to his government. Zach Wahls’ 3 minute speech defending gay marriage has been viewed more than 18 million times.

Three candidates for 2012 made the most-viewed political videos list. Gov. Rick Perry's highly-covered "Strong" ad was uploaded just this month, but has already racked up 7 million views (another one of his ads, “Proven Leadership” is also on the list). Herman Cain, who recently suspended his bid for President, showed that quirky gets views. President Obama reached an audience of millions on YouTube as both commander in chief, and stand up comedian.

Here’s the full list of the most-viewed political videos from the YouTube News and Politics category:

1. Zach Wahls speaks about family
2. President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
3. Strong [Rick Perry ad]
4. President Obama on death of Osama bin Laden
5. Brother, can you spare a trillion? Government gone wild!
6. Seth Meyers remarks at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
7. Rick Perry - Proven Leadership
8. Jon Stewart Goes Head-to-Head Bill O'Reilly
9. Now is the time for action! [Herman Cain ad]
10. President Barack Obama's First Ad of 2012 [NRSC Ad]

In all, the videos on this list account for over 50 million views, demonstrating that there is significant interest in political video on YouTube before the primaries have even begun. For all the key moments in online political video during the coming election, visit For more of YouTube’s most-viewed videos of 2011, visit

Perry’s 'Strong' Ad Spawns Parodies and Reactions

In under 48 hours, Rick Perry’s latest ad, “Strong,” has racked up close to 750,000 views and is the most-shared and most-viewed video on YouTube in the United States today. Earlier in the day "rick perry strong" was one of our top rising search terms.

The video has also incited significant conversation on the site -- dozens of YouTube users have uploaded parody and response videos to Perry’s original ad.

Rick Perry’s 'Oops': The Morning After on YouTube

Rick Perry’s stumble in last night’s CNBC debate -- in which he took 53 seconds to come up with the name of a third government agency before giving up -- was a top rising search last night and is this morning’s most-viewed YouTube video in the United States. Footage of the "oops" moment was viewed over half a million times in the twelve hours following the debate, and that number is still climbing.

Where is it popular? Where it matters most. Today, the Perry gaffe is the most-viewed video in both Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, two Iowa cities which are incredibly important to GOP hopefuls with the Iowa Caucus just weeks away.

Nationwide, the footage also sits atop this morning’s Trending Video list and is the #2 most-shared in the United States, placing well ahead of Ellen and Lebron.

For more on all the hot political videos of 2012, visit

Herman Cain's Trending Campaign Spot of the Week

Herman Cain made a big splash this week with his ad featuring Chief of Staff Mark Block smoking a cigarette. The ad, titled "Now is the Time for Action," has now been seen over one million times since Monday. According to, it's the second-most-viewed video of the 2011 GOP Candidates, only behind Rick Perry's "Proven Leadership."

Meanwhile politically-engaged jokesters created a number of parody versions, a selection of which are available in the CitizenTube playlist below.

(Use the arrows to navigate between videos or watch them all here.)

Occupy Wall Street Videos: SF, NYC

In the U.S., "Occupy Wall Street" has among the top Youtube rising searches in the past week and each day we continue to see groups of videos posted from demonstrations which have now extended to other cities outside of New York. Roughly 10,000 videos tagged "occupy wall street" have been posted in the past week.

Last night, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg was captured on video making an appearance at the protest site, reportedly to inform protesters that the area was due for a cleaning. This is one of the videos posted of his visit:

Yesterday, video was posted of a demonstration in downtown San Francisco at a Wells Fargo Bank. In this clip, some of the protesters can be seen being placed under arrest. Meanwhile, the footage below, which purports to show a confrontation between San Francisco police and protesters last week, has now become one of the most-viewed videos in the area.

Warning: Adult Language!

Another video that's drawing attention today is a humorous, undercover video filmed by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas (As seen on Gawker).

Visualizing Your Questions to the GOP Candidates

Nearly 19,000 questions were submitted on YouTube for Thursday's Google and Fox News Republican Primary debate in Florida. More than 100,000 votes were cast to help determine the questions that will be asked of the candidates this evening.

We took those 19,000 questions, which were asked among nine varying categories, and analyzed the words people used when expressing their perspectives and concerns using a tool from Here's the one for "Government Spending and Debt."

The other eight, as well as the graphic for all the questions, will be available on the Fox News debate channel.

More: See word clouds from your interview with President Obama from earlier this year.

Obama's New Campaign: Sobering Cynicism

The current debate in Washington over the debt ceiling has served as inspiration for a number of recent musical parodies like Remy's smash hit "Raise the Debt Ceiling." Fortunately, as the 2012 election draws nearer, it seems like that it's only the beginning of the political parody season.

This new video from LandlineTv documents the search for the latest Obama girl. Armed with a revised re-election strategy that emphasizes measured pessimism and sobering cynicism, Obama's campaigning team looks brightly into the future.

Celebs Make Videos for Onion Pulitzer Campaign

Some of our top Trending videos this week have come from an effort launched by the "Americans For Fairness in Awarding Journalism Prizes." You can see their PSA here, which explains the campaign against the Pulitzer Prize for its long time lock-out of The Onion from the recipients.

A host of celebrities from Mario Batali to Arianna Huffington have filmed short clips in support of The Onion and against the Pulitzer board. Below, we've collected 10 more popular videos from some surprising actors and other big names who've contributed to the cause so far:

Inside YouTube Search: Looking Back at a Major News Week

Last week was a major week for news involving the President, with Obama delivering two starkly contrasting, yet incredibly popular speeches.

We already analyzed how popular his correspondents' dinner remarks have been -- and since then, they've been viewed roughly 8 million times total. The official White House version of his address on the death of Osama bin Laden, which he delivered the following night, has been viewed over 5 million times.

Today, we've gone back and looked at last week's search data for some perspective. Searches around the world for "Obama" on YouTube so far this month were at their relative highest since January 2009, when the President was inaugurated. The term "bin laden" is the top rising U.S. search on YouTube of the past thirty days, and if you look back at searches for "osama" globally over the past few years, weekly interest essentially charts like a hockeystick:

In the United States, searches for "osama" spiked higher than searches for "tsunami" did in March, making this one of biggest news stories in terms of U.S. interest so far this year.

Obama's 2011 Correspondents' Dinner Speech Draws Millions of Views

President Obama's remarks Saturday evening will go down as the most popular ever for the White House Correspondents' Dinner on YouTube. The speech, which was posted by CSPAN, has been the Most Shared and the top Trending Video for the past two days.

Looking back at the viewing data since 2008, there are few other speeches overall that have more views. In general, views for CSPAN YouTube videos hit an all-time high on Sunday, 4.4 million views, which were mostly for that speech. That's roughly double the previous high from January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama's inauguration day.

The chart below shows the disparity in views so far for the 2011 remarks and CSPAN videos of other remarks made by President Obama and President Bush the past few years:

Obama's 2012 Announcement: How It Was Shared

Yesterday, President Obama announced his 2012 Presidential Campaign via YouTube video (posted below). The clip was viewed over 100,000 times yesterday. Considering the amount of attention the video drew in the press -- it remains one of our Trending Videos -- and across social media, we decided to look at how the announcement video was shared online.*

The first wave of buzz around the video came very early in the morning, as influential tweets -- in sharing terms -- were posted by Politico's Mike Allen, then by ABC's Jake Tapper and Mark Scott. The first official news account to tweet out the video was BBCWorld. Later in the afternoon, the President's official account tweeted it as well, creating a second wave of attention on that platform.

(Interestingly, this was the second "launch of the 2012 campaign" video to go viral, with a faux announcement video posted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee on April Fools Day that drew 562,000 views over the weekend.)

A look back at YouTube search data from the 2008 campaign shows that the biggest surge in search interest is likely a ways off, but it will be interesting to follow the weekly peaks and valleys as the campaigns truly get underway.

Mouse over the points to see the corresponding campaign events. For more recent search info on "Obama" searches, check out our post 12 Months of Searching for Obama.

*Note: We only looked at shares of the actual YouTube video and not shares of articles containing the video, such as this one from the Huffington Post, which was also popularly shared.

Your Words to President Obama

Today, YouTube sat down with President Obama for an interview featuring questions submitted by users from around the world. In the six days that voting was open, YouTube received 139,632 questions from 193,066 people who cast 1.38 million votes.

The questions were distributed among seven different categories: Education, Health Care, Foreign Policy, Jobs/Economy, Immigration, Energy/Environment, and Other. We took the top voted five thousand questions and divided them up into their respective categories to see what the most commonly used words were in the questions we received. We then created images from those words using Wordle.

We wanted to get an idea of how our users chose to express their concerns and questions to the President of the United States on each of these important issues. Here's what we found:

(Click images to open full-size.)


Jobs & the Economy

Energy & the Environment

Foreign Policy & National Defense


Health Care


Below, you can watch the interview and see which questions made it:

12 Months of Searching for Obama

President Obama's State of the Union address will be livestreamed on YouTube tonight, and, if history is any indication, there is a good chance we will see searches for the President spike again this week, particularly considering YouTube is conducting an interview with the President on Thursday.

The largest spike in search interest for the President occurred right around the 2010 State of the Union, so we decided to look back at how searches for the word "Obama" have risen and declined in the 12 months since that peak.

While there is steady interest throughout the year, most of the sharp rises -- as you can see marked in the chart below -- all seem to coincide with major political and national events during the time frame, beginning with the signing of health care reform into law and spiking again this month around the time of the President's speech in Tucson, Arizona.

(Mouse over the points for more detail)

  • If you, yourself, would like to ask the President a question this week, you don't have to search for it. You can just go here.

Reactions to DADT Vote Hit YouTube

The Senate voted to repeal the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy over the weekend, meaning that it will now go to President Obama to be signed.

During the past few months, Lady Gaga and many other YouTubers were part of a movement in support of the repeal that saw numerous videos uploaded on this topic. Now, over the weekend and into today, we've noticed a lot of reactions posted from across the U.S. with a lot of different views and perspectives, including that of some former servicemen:

(You can see the original video posted by Jared -- video #1 -- here.)

Lady Gaga Continues 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Campaign

Monday night, Lady Gaga posted a new video reinforcing her views on the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy:

The video has drawn over 250,000 views in just over 24 hours. A message that Gaga posted back in September that was meant to address the Senate has been viewed over 2.2 million times.

Meanwhile, YouTubers -- some of whom were Gaga-inspired -- have been uploading their own thoughts on the issue. Here's a playlist of reactions pulled together from the past 24 hours:

How Did Dale Peterson's Ad Become the Most-Viewed of the Midterm?

If you took a look at a chart for the most viewed campaign videos of this election season, you may or may not be surprised to see Alabama Agricultural and Industrial Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson at the #1 spot. Peterson's "We are Better than That!!!!!" ad has drawn 2.25 million views since it was posted on May 15th.

How did it make it to the top of the list? 1.12 million of those views, the vast majority, came during the first week the video was posted. It was picked up by -- where it was labeled "The greatest political ad ever?" -- AOL News, Gawker,, and The Huffington Post, among others.

Despite topping the list most viewed campaign videos, Peterson lost the Primary in June.

The video accumulated an additional 800,000 views after that, with a small spike on election day.

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