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New Report: ABC News and Facebook poll: The [US] election and the Internet

22 January, 2008
By Allison Orr

A survey undertaken jointly by US ABC News and Facebook finds the Internet now rivals newspapers as one of American’s top two sources of news about the 2008 presidential election.  While television still predominates, forty per cent of adults now go online for political and election-related information, the most in polls since the rise of the Internet.

Those who use the Internet for political information are also far more likely to be politically engaged.  The four in ten adults who use the Internet for election information are highly attuned to politics compared to other adults, they are more likely to plan to vote next year and more likely to have voted previously.  And contrary to fears that online involvement would increase social isolation, 72 per cent of those who use the Internet for political information also report doing volunteer work for a church, charity or community group.  This group also feel they have a say in what government does.  Both these figures drop to just over 50 per cent among other adults.

The survey results for young voters are especially striking.  While people under 30 are generally less likely to vote, in this age group they are disproportionately likely to go online for political news, and those who do are much more politically involved than others their age.

For the full results and analysis, see the website for Politics and the Internet Meet in the Rise of the Wired Electorate.

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