Politics Online: Obama Has An Edge

    June 16, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Social networking, text messaging, and online video pulled in plenty of interested people looking for more details about the candidates for the US Presidential election in November.

People want to be better informed when the polling places open on November 4th. No longer content to be fed bits from TV news reports and campaign ads, voters looked to the Net to learn about the frontrunners, keep in touch with campaigns, and even donate funds.

A new report from Pew Internet said 46 percent of Americans used their web browsers, mobiles, and inboxes to gather information from the candidates. John McCain, Barack Obama, and other aspirants to the White House were only too happy to oblige, posting news and views on issues regularly.

In the McCain vs. Obama matchup coming in five months, Pew Internet said Obama has some edges over his Republican rival when it comes to the Internet:

  • 74% of wired Obama supporters have gotten political news and information online, compared with 57% of online Clinton supporters.

  • In a head-to-head matchup 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.

Youth is being served on the Democratic and Obama side of the Internet issue. Pew found 14 percent of US Internet users having set up something on Facebook or MySpace of political interest. Half of the Internet users from 18-29 on such sites use them to gain campaign details.

Video watching occupied 35 percent of all Americans who tuned in to a candidate’s message. The real test comes in November, especially among younger voters; will they turn out in significant numbers and convert their online interest to real world votes on November 4th?