The GOP Is Hip to the Internet Domain Haps

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 9 2014 6:01 PM

The GOP Is Hip to the Internet Domain Haps

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Praying for a top-level domain.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican Party has received approval from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers for a .gop top-level domain. The domain comes as part of an effort to unify the party's online resources and make it easier for people to identify official websites.

The domain will be live in 75 days, but that's nothing compared with the two years the party spent applying and waiting for a decision. ICANN started approving proposals in July 2013, and though it doesn't seem like the process would be very stressful, other applications have been denied because of overlap.

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Republicans will use the .gop domain to streamline branding and promote online fundraising. But Democrats aren't seeking their own top-level domain name because, as Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin told FoxNews.com, “Republicans didn't lose in 2008 and 2012 because people had trouble finding their addresses. This is not a game-changer. It’s a tactic. What matters is the substance.”

Not everyone agrees, though. Jim Messina, President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign manager, told USA Today, “It's just another thing in the toolbox to use to reach out to folks. As a campaign manager, all you want is more tools, and I think this is a really interesting one.” He said he was “pissed” that Democrats weren't trying to get their own top-level domain. As the first political party with its own top-level domain, the GOP is makin' moves. Internet moves.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.