Political-news publishers have benefited immensely from increased coverage and interest in the 2016 election cycle. An incredible rise has been Matt Drudge, who became the second-biggest publisher in the country with almost 1.5 billion page views in July 2016 -- only topped by MSN.
The interest in this election has extended to numerous publications, which have seen huge gains over the past months.
From June to July, according to SimilarWeb, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight saw a 132% increase in page views from just under 42 million to over 97 million. Interestingly, more than 20% of all desktop traffic to the site in July was through a new interactive polling dashboard titled 'Who Will Win the Presidency?'
FiveThirtyEight is now the 50th-largest site in the U.S, rising 56 spots over the June to July 2016 time period.
YoungCons.com, the conservative news outlet, saw the largest rankings increase from June to July, rising 151 spots to become the 145th-largest site in the country.
A number of other news outlets saw robust growth over the same period. The Hill rose 29 spots to become the 88th-largest site (page views up 49%), The Daily Beast became the 51st-most-visited site rising 13 spots from June to July (page views up 30%).
Not all politically inclined sites saw an increase, however. The Daily Caller lost 38 spots to fall to the 80th position.
The political-news cycle has changed drastically as reporters continually increase the frequency with which they produce content. One effect has been an amplification of stories that can dominate a day's cycle, boosting page views, but may be gone the next day.
David Axelrod, President Obama’s top media advisor in the 2008 election and chief campaign strategist in 2012, put it cogently in his memoir 'Believer": “Breathless and ubiquitous cable TV coverage and social media have created a permanent campaign mentality that treats every day in Washington as Election Day.”
News sites are guilty of magnifying that, but so are the readers who demand increasingly “ubiquitous” coverage of politics, particularly of the two major party candidates vying for the Oval Office.
Further, as Obama’s first press secretary Robert Gibbs told Axelrod on "The Axe Files" podcast: “I don’t even think there’s a news cycle anymore. To say there’s a news cycle presumes that cycle is some period of time. I think that’s gone.”