Nielsen: Republicans Outnumber Dems Online

    November 1, 2006

NetRatings, a Nielsen property, published a report today comparing Internet usage along political party lines. The findings also catalog top websites among both Democrats and Republicans, indicating a wide disparity in online interests between the partisan groups.

According to the NetRatings poll, 36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, followed by 30.8 percent Democrats and 17.3 percent registered as Indepenents.

Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Ken Cassar speculates on potential contributing factors to the gap represented in the poll’s findings.

“The fact that the online population is more heavily composed of Republicans than Democrats is principally a function of the Republican party’s higher composition within the overall electorate.”

“This is exacerbated by the fact that online penetration continues to be deeper among affluent households, which have historically skewed Republican,” Cassar continued.

Further analysis into the findings indicates a fundamental distinction in online viewership between Democrats and Republicans.

Republican web surfers tended to favor sites that contained news and conservative political commentary, whereas Democratic users leaned toward destinations focusing on culture and entertainment – often with tendencies toward African American stylings in both respects.

The online newspaper of choice for Republicans is the Wall Street Journal, with 40.2 percent of readers indicating themselves as registered members of the GOP. Conversely, Democrats constitute 52.3 percent of New York Times readers online.

When respondents were asked about their political leaning, the largest segment, 36.1 percent, identified themselves as “Moderate.” The second largest segment, 32.5 percent, identified themselves as “Conservative/Very Conservative,” while 19.8 percent of respondents identified themselves as “Liberal/Very Liberal.”

With the Internet playing an ever-increasing role as a information platform for the voting public, will these statistics translate into a happy ending for the Republican party at the polls?

Or will the Democrats get the last laugh by winning back control of the legislature, and consequently, start a “GOP is SOL” video campaign on YouTube and Google Video?

I suppose we’ll find out in less than a week.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.