From candidate ads to pundit debates, speeches from the White House to impassioned pleas from the American heartland, this year’s most-viewed political videos show us that a message that resonates can come from anywhere — and anyone.
Surpassing the President and various presidential hopefuls in views, the #1 video on our list comes from a young man in Iowa speaking candidly to his government. Zach Wahls’ 3 minute speech defending gay marriage has been viewed more than 18 million times.
Three candidates for 2012 made the most-viewed political videos list. Gov. Rick Perry’s highly-covered “Strong” ad was uploaded just this month, but has already racked up 7 million views (another one of his ads, “Proven Leadership” is also on the list). Herman Cain, who recently suspended his bid for President, showed that quirky gets views. President Obama reached an audience of millions on YouTube as both commander in chief, and stand up comedian.
Here’s the full list of the most-viewed political videos from the YouTube News and Politics category:
1. Zach Wahls speaks about family
2. President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
3. Strong [Rick Perry ad]
4. President Obama on death of Osama bin Laden
5. Brother, can you spare a trillion? Government gone wild!
6. Seth Meyers remarks at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
7. Rick Perry – Proven Leadership
8. Jon Stewart Goes Head-to-Head Bill O’Reilly
9. Now is the time for action! [Herman Cain ad]
10. President Barack Obama’s First Ad of 2012 [NRSC Ad]
In all, the videos on this list account for over 50 million views, demonstrating that there is significant interest in political video on YouTube before the primaries have even begun. For all the key moments in online political video during the coming election, visit YouTube.com/Politics. For more of YouTube’s most-viewed videos of 2011, visit YouTube.com/Rewind.