Iowa and New Hampshire typically play host to the rough-and-tumble early days of presidential campaigning, but in recent weeks another arena has gained traction in the battle for voters’ hearts and minds: candidates’ website error pages.
Campaigns on both sides of the aisle have put a creative spin on the usually boring “404 page,” the website page that appears when a URL is entered incorrectly. Animal puns, pleas for donations and a video that tells voters to, “just scoot down,” greet visitors who click a broken link or type in the wrong URL on certain candidates’ sites.
Here’s a round-up of the 2016 contenders who have made their mark in the mistaken-Web-page world:
Hillary Clinton: Link not ‘what it was quacked up to be’
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s 404 page features a cute, old photograph of herself with former President Bill Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea -- complete with Donald Duck and cartoon hats.
"Oops, that link wasn't what it was quacked up to be," quips the error message. “But while you’re here, how about signing up to volunteer?”
Rick Santorum: More helpful than Hillary?
A large photo of Clinton holding her phone -- similar to an image previously used by Clinton on her Twitter profile -- greets visitors lost amid the Web pages of Republican Rick Santorum’s site.
So does a dig at the former diplomat, who’s been criticized for using a private email account as secretary of state. She has said she did so out of “convenience.”
“We’re sorry, but we couldn’t find that page,” Santorum’s error page reads. “But we do have this search box. You know, ‘for convenience.’”
Bernie Sanders: ‘Just scoot down’
“The good news is, you’re on the right website, and it’s a really good website,” says Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress in U.S. history. “The bad news is, you’re on the wrong page.
“Just scoot down to the bottom of the page,” he adds, waving his hand, “and you’ll find your way back home to where you should be.”
“FUMBLE! You seem a little lost,” proclaims the error page on Sen. Marco Rubio’s site. The Florida Republican’s website gives viewers a taste of his favorite football team, with an image of a Miami Dolphins player in the background.
And like Sanders, Rubio shares a video -- although his is a more inspirational, professionally produced clip about his work coaching youth football.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, gets casually punny with visitors to his website who have lost their way.
On his 404 page, a photo shows Huckabee relaxing on a boat with a happy-looking dog and a fishing rod, alongside a message that reads: “Oops! Looks like you caught the wrong page.”
California businesswoman Carly Fiorina gets a bit simpler -- and more direct -- with her site’s error page.
Next to giant buttons asking for contributions to her campaign, the Republican uses a video to implore visitors to join her cause.
“We can do this, together,” she says, before giving viewers an opportunity to submit their email address and “Join the Team.”