If online musicians decided the election, John McCain might struggle getting a single electoral vote.
Trolling the internet for free songs about the presidential election - beyond obvious strains from the likes of Obama Girl, "Bomb Iran" and the candidates' alleged playlists - reveals virtually all are devoted to Democratic nominee Barack Obama. From folk and alternative rock by eligible voters to tribal music from remote parts of Africa, the candidate who's inspired a wildly divergent range of opinions has a music collection to match.
McCain, on the other hand, has a couple of favorable country tributes and a bunch of satire (or worse) by musicians in favor of his opponent. But in the interest of fairness, the search was conducted far and wide to list enough links below to satiate all sides of the debate.
No, nobody has any Sarah Palin tributes yet, but if someone hasn't recorded "Sarah Barracuda" by Election Day I'll eat my laptop.
So beginning with the Obama downloads (the list isn't even close to complete), before moving on to the McCain grooves and things that sort of fulfill that role:
A nice roundup of 25 Obama songs is at http://moneydick.com/wordpress/2008/07/03/25-obama-songs-for-you-and-me. It appears to only be a streaming jukebox, but click on a track and the option of downloading it is provided.
One of the more interesting world music collections is from Pan African musicians worldwide at www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/58261/out-of-africa-barack-obama-in-pan-african-music. There are a number of MP3s and videos, plus information and links to the contributors.
A couple of Obama rap songs are at www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2008/02/obama-music-an.html, where the blogger declares "I bet you've never heard 'higher fuel-efficiency standards' in a rap song before."
More Obama world music, including the Kenyan song "Extra Golden" is at http://soundroots.org/2007/08/mondays-mp3-obama-obama.html. And the video and song "Cumbia De Obama" by Los Obamaleros is at www.fosforo.net/blog/?p=30.
Some group called Clare and the Reasons performs the syrupy "Obama Over the Rainbow" at www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2008/08/daily_downloads_1658.html. This blog has a massive amount of free music, so it's worth checking out regularly.
Dr. BLT, in response to a Merle Haggard song written for Hillary Clinton, has posted the county song "Maverick" for McCain at www.drblt.net/music/MaverickDemo2.mp3.
Country star John Rich's "Raisin McCain" is at www.johnrich.com, but you have to give your personal data. Supposedly you can opt out of getting campaign spam, but you never know once your name's on a political list.
For hip-hop McCain (don't make me visualize this), Tittsworth has a mix of "The John McCain Experience" at http://fmusic.sakura.ne.jp/tittsworth_bodytoniclive_mix.html.
In the GOP satire category is "Kiss The Ring (a song for John McCain's magically disappearing principles)" at www.huffingtonpost.com/max-and-the-marginalized/kiss-the-ring-a-song-for_b_91281.html.
More satire: "John McCain" by The Damaged Goods Comedy Shop at http://damaged-goods-comedy-shop-john-mccain-mp3-download.kohit.net/_/91760
And just to strive for a little extra balance, there's plenty of songs for former Republican contender Ron Paul, who's across the street from the GOP convention in Minnesota this week. A good place to start is http://theuniverseas.com/ron-paul-music-videos-the-many-songs-about-ron-paul-all-in-one-place.
As for Ralph Nadar, Bob Barr and the roughly dozen other minor party candidates, well, this is the mainstream media. You're on your own.
Mark Sabbatini is a professional music reviewer who will be spending Election Day 600 miles from the North Pole as a resident of the polar town Longyearbyen in his new homeland of Norway.