Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first major candidate to officially announce he would run for President in the 2016 race, kicking off his candidacy in front of a crowd of students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Readers interested in Cruz’s run can visit his official campaign website at tedcruz.org — not tedcruz.com, dot org. That’s because someone else owns Tedcruz.com, and has been using it to voice support for President Barack Obama.
Cruz’s misfortune in website domains is due to an Arizona attorney also named Ted Cruz buying the domain back in 2004 to advertise real estate, according to Mother Jones. Here’s what the website looked like back in 2008.
But somewhere along the line, Cruz decided his uniquely lucrative domain should be used for a more political purpose. Slightly less damaging but equally unpresidential, tedcruz2016.com redirects to a website that endlessly cycles through four landscape photos, with no indication of any purpose for the site.
Although Cruz has some of the funnier URL redirects associated with his campaign (Tedcruzforamerica.com redirects to healthcare.gov, for example), he’s hardly alone. Chrischristie.com is the personal website of a web programmer with the same name from Milwaukee. Friends of Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, had to deal with several websites that were already claimed by domain squatters. These websites are similarly poor representations of two potential Presidential candidates, though neither site take a direct shot like tedcruz.com does.
So should Cruz be worried? Not really. Most people no longer navigate directly to websites, preferring to use search or social to find information. If you Google tedcruz.com, it shows results for tedcruz.org first.
And according to audience measurement company Quantcast (per the Washington Post), tedcruz.org is ranked the 2,156th most-visited website in the U.S. currently, while tedcruz.com is ranked 618,938th. As soon as the news cycle ends, that sub-600,000 ranking will likely dip even lower.