Use of Internet Leads Other Media for Political Insight
Although Americans are in the early stages of accessing information about the 2008 Presidential campaign, the Internet is playing an important role in keeping voters informed.
In a recent survey of 2,100 online users who are likely to vote in the next Presidential election, Burst Media found that over 20% of likely voters have already visited a Presidential candidate’s Web site. In addition, 25% of likely voters have clicked on a candidate or advocacy group’s online advertisement. Likely voters are also willing to watch a Presidential candidate in an online video clip, and listen to a candidate in a podcast.
Use of the Internet to understand political positions leads all other media, according to Burst Media. One-quarter of likely voters cite the Internet as the best place to learn about a candidate’s position on election issues or to research general election issues; beating out television (21.3%), newspapers (17.3%), radio (6.9%), magazines (4.4%), and pamphlets, brochures, and direct mail (3.3%).
Men are significantly more likely than women to cite the Internet as the best source for election information–28.7% versus 21.1%, respectively.
There are interesting differences in the responses of different age segments. Among the youngest likely voter segment (18 to 24 years), television (27.6%) and the Internet (24.5%) reign supreme for election information. The Internet clearly leads other media among respondents 25 to 44 years, and newspapers lead with older age segments (45 years and older).
Findings also reveal that one out of five (22.2%) likely voters has visited a 2008 Presidential candidate’s Web site. Men are more likely than women to have visited a candidate’s Web site–25.2% versus 19.0%, respectively.
One interesting finding is that among gender and age segments, women 65 years and older are more likely (29.3%) than all other age segments to have visited a candidate’s Web site. Additionally, only 38.9% of respondents who say the Internet is the best place to gather election information have visited a candidate’s Web site.
More than one-half (53.5%) of likely voters who visited a candidate’s Web site say the site was informative, 11.0% say the site was uninformative, and the remaining respondents are neutral in their review.
What about Web ads for candidates? One-quarter (23.9%) of likely voters have clicked on a Web advertisement for a political candidate or issue advocacy group. Men are more likely than women to have clicked on a candidate’s or advocacy group’s Web ad–26.9% versus 20.5%, respectfully.
Among “clickers,” 47.8% have clicked only on an advocacy group advertisement; 26.3% clicked only on a candidate’s advertisement; and 25.9% said they have clicked on a candidate’s as well as an advocacy group’s ad.
Among likely voters who clicked on a candidate’s Web advertisement, three out of five (59.5%) went on to read additional information about the candidate’s platform on issues, 32.9% signed up to receive campaign e-mail alerts, 32.9% sent an e-mail to the candidate, 32.5% posted a comment, 27.3% watched a video clip, 21.1% made an online donation, and 18.3% signed up to volunteer for the campaign.
Nearly half (50.7%) of likely voters would watch a video clip on a candidate’s Web site featuring the candidate discussing his or her positions on election issues. Men are significantly more likely than women to say they would watch a video clip online–50.1% versus 43.9%, respectively; and significant portions of all age segments (including 55 years and older) would watch a video clip featuring a candidate discussing his or her election platform.
One-quarter of likely voters would download and listen to a podcast featuring a candidate presenting their election platform. As might be expected, respondents 18 to 34 years were more likely than all other age segments to say they would listen to a podcast.
“Our study confirms that the Internet is a valuable source of political and advocacy information,” says Chuck Moran, Manager of Market Research for Burst. “The Internet provides candidates, advocacy groups, and marketers with a ‘high touch’ medium to reach new audiences and enhance existing constituent relationships. Furthermore, the Internet gives parties the opportunity to reach targeted segments in an environment that is highly engaging and, by the nature of politics, interactive.”
An online media and technology company founded in 1995, Burst Media provides products and services for Web publishers that help them attract and meet the needs of advertisers.
For more information about Burst Media, visit www.burstmedia.com.
To access the complete, online study about voter trends, visit www.burstmedia.com/newsletter/current.asp.
Abstracted from Market Wire Newsletter, 04/09/07.