Internet and the Election

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The following facts and figures are from http://www.pewinternet.org, As I studied for my MBA last year I used them a great deal as a source of accurate information especially since I was studying international marketing and the web is such a key element to successful business these days.
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I thought is was appropriate to share this as we are all Xanga freaks and use the web daily to express ourselves, so too do the parties and candidates. Although McCain says he doesn’t know the web very well his staff certainly realize its power and Obama is using the web more than any candidate in history.

A record-breaking 46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others.
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Barack Obama’s backers have an edge in the online political environment. Furthermore, three online activities have become especially prominent as the presidential primary campaigns progressed:

First, 35% of Americans say they have watched online political videos, a figure that nearly triples the reading the Pew Internet Project got in the 2004 race.

Second, 10% say they have used social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace to gather information or become involved. This is particularly popular with younger voters: Two-thirds of internet users under the age of 30 have a social networking profile, and half of these use social networking sites to get or share information about politics or the campaigns.

Third, 6% of Americans have made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.

A significant number of voters are also using the internet to gain access to campaign events and primary documents. Some 39% of online Americans have used the internet to access “unfiltered” campaign materials, which includes video of candidate debates, speeches and announcements, as well as position papers and speech transcripts.

Online activism using social media has also grown substantially since the first time we probed this issue during the 2006 midterm elections.

More web facts regarding this election:
1. 11% of Americans have contributed to the political conversation by forwarding or posting someone else’s commentary about the race.
2. 5% have posted their own original commentary or analysis.
3. 6% have gone online to donate money to a candidate or campaign.
4. Young voters are helping to define the online political debate; 12% of online 18-29 year olds have posted their own political commentary or writing to an online newsgroup, website or blog. Led by young voters, Democrats and Obama supporters have taken the lead in their use of online tools for political engagement. _
5. 74% of wired Obama supporters have gotten political news and information online, compared with 57% of online Clinton supporters.
6. In a head-to-head match-up with internet users who support Republican McCain, Obama’s backers are more likely to get political news and information online (65% vs. 56%).

Obama supporters outpace both Clinton and McCain supporters in their usage of online video, social networking sites and other online campaign activities. Yet despite the growth in the number of people who are politically engaged online, internet users express some ambivalence about the role of the internet in the campaign.
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On one hand, 28% of wired Americans say that the internet makes them feel more personally connected to the campaign, and 22% say that they would not be as involved in the campaign if not for the internet. At the same time, however, even larger numbers feel that the internet magnifies the most extreme viewpoints and is a source of misinformation for many voters.

3 thoughts on “Internet and the Election

  1. Thank goodness for the net.  I am trying my best to muddle through it all though.  Having always voted conservative I am really in a fix this year as I am not a McCain fan.  I am not an Obama fan either.  Neither one of them really tells me what they really plan to do for this country.  I just feel like I keep reading and hearing a lot of media hype and gobbley gook!  Well….poor choice of words….but not quite sure if they deserve any other kind of description anyway.  But…I do love the net…even if it takes a lot of time to get throuh the political sites.  To me it is Un-American not to vote……I HAVE to vote for someone…….?????????

  2. True, the internet does magnify some bad points but then again most news outlets (FOX, CNN, etc.) magnify all bad points about a candidate. I think the internet is the quickest way to get to know more about a candidate and the issues they support.PS: I thought this post was so different from what I’ve been reading recently so thank you for the originality đŸ™‚

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