GOP set to launch first partisan Web domain

By the end of February, the Republican Party will apparently become the first political entity to have its own Web address ending.

The new digital campaigning strategy means that individuals will have the ability to register for websites with a .gop suffix instead of .com, .net, .org or other usual domain names.

“You’ll see committees, organizations, grass-roots and state committees using this ending,” said Will Martinez, vice president of sales and marketing for .gop. “Hopefully in the lead-up to 2016 elections you’ll see the presidential primary playing out on .gop.”

With political donations moving online, the Republican State Leadership Committee – a party unit that focuses on state elections and set up the .gop group — hopes that the new domain will help increase the party’s online brand for upcoming election cycles. In 2012, President Obama’s re-election campaign raised $504 million in online donations and invested twice as much as the Romney campaign in online advertising, the group says.

“The goal here is to really make investments and be on top of all of the newest in technology to compete with the Democrats and move up ahead of them,” Republican National Committee Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski said.

Examples of expected Republican websites include,, and

The new domains are possible because of a recent Internet expansion in response to online overcrowding and increased competition for Web addresses. By next year, the Internet will have 1,000 more Web endings such as .gay, .nyc and .buzz.

At a Wednesday “Beyond the Dot” conference on generic top-level domains, President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign manager Jim Messina said he was “pissed” that the Democrats have not created their own Web ending.

“It’s just another thing in the toolbox to use to reach out to folks,” Messina said. “As a campaign manager, all you want is more tools, and I think this is a really interesting one.” …

Read the full article at USA Today.

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