Internet Playing Larger Role In PoliticsBy: Mike Sachoff - January 11, 2008
Close to a quarter (24%) of Americans say they regularly learn something about the presidential campaign from the Internet, close to double the percentage from the 2004 campaign according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
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Forty-two percent of those ages 18 to 29 say they regularly learn about the campaign from the Internet, the highest percentage for any news source. In January 2004 just 20 percent of young people said they frequently received campaign news from the Internet.
People who turn to the Internet for campaign news visit a variety of Web sites. The most frequently visited news outlets are MSNBC (26%), CNN (23%) and Yahoo News (22%). Three percent say they go to the Drudge Report or MySpace, while 2 percent specifically mention YouTube as a site where they receive campaign news.
Overall, 26 percent of Americans mention the Internet either first or second as their main source of election news. Six-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 cite television as their main source for election news, down from 75 percent in 2004. Over that time the proportion citing the Internet has gone from 21 percent to 46 percent.
Twenty-seven percent of Americans age 18-29 say they have received information about candidates and the campaign from social networking sites. Close to one-in-ten of people under 30 say that they have signed up as a "friend" of one of the candidates on a site.
Twenty-four percent of Americans say they have seen something about the campaign in a video online, including a speech, interview, commercial or debate. Forty-one percent of those under age 30 have viewed at least one type of video online.