The 2016 presidential race is heating up online, but no one is looking for delegates. It's domain names people are after.

The 2016 presidential race is heating up online, but no one is looking for delegates. It's domain names people are after.

With the next presidential election still four years away (although, let's be honest, some people started thinking about it as soon as we knew who won the last one), people are already grabbing the domain names of potential 2016 candidates.

That's because, according to a Politico story this week, those folks hope in a few years those potential candidates will come knocking, checkbook in hand, to buy and control the domain name. Controlling your image online is crucial, especially for a politician. Everyone remembers what happened to Rick Santorum.

Ironically, Santorum is one of the few possible 2016 candidates who are ready to hit the ground—and the Web—running. According to Politico, the former Pennsylvania senator has already purchased RickSantorum2016.com, RickSantorum2016.net and Santorum2016.net.

But what about possible ticket combinations like Clinton and Cuomo or Rubio and Christie? The latter, RubioChristie.com, is owned by a guy named Nick Chaires in California, but RubioChristie.net is still up for grabs.

It’s a relatively modest investment,” Shardule Shah told Politico this week. “I rack up whatever names I can get.”

Shah, a student in Atlanta, has purchased Ryan2016.com (as in Paul Ryan) and a few others in preparation for the next race. He even made a profit this year after selling HuntsmanForPresident.com to a Jon Huntsman support group. Some buyers haven't been so lucky, though. Allen Craddock, a lawyer in Austin, Texas, paid another domain buyer $1,000 for HillaryForPresident.com in 2004 but never got a call from the campaign in 2008 (it was content with HillaryClinton.com).

I thought it would be a good investment,” he told Politico.

But obviously it wasn’t. That’s because in many cases potential candidates purchase their names well in advance (a smart practice for anyone). One guy who hasn’t done this is Chris Christie. When he ran for governor in New Jersey, he went with the simple ChristieForNJ.comChrisChristie.com, however, is owned by a Wisconsin computer programmer of the same name. The Wisconsin resident told Politico no one from Christie’s campaign has ever offered money for the domain name, but he’s willing to sell for the right amount.

With Christie on many presidential shortlists, that computer programmer might soon find out soon what the magic number is.

Image via White House/Flickr

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