Politicians, pundits, and just-plain-folks who don’t think the Internet matters in elections might want to re-examine their stance. A new Associated Press/AOL poll surveyed 2,000 adults and 970 likely voters via telephone between October 23 and 25, and found that 35 percent of Americans are using the Internet to gather information on the upcoming mid-term U.S. elections in November. The percentage was even higher amongst likely voters, with 43 percent saying they are using the Internet to gather information about the election.
Amusingly, responses show a strong ideological skew: 51 percent of respondents classifying themselves as liberals use the Internet to get election information, while just 39 percent of conservatives say the same.
But here’s the number which may strike fear into the heart of spin doctors, pundits, media-watchers, and self-appointed guardians of all that is true, wholesome, and decent: 24 percent of respondents who use the Internet to gather election information have accessed a blog this season, while 10 percent have accesses a chat room, message board, or other online forum to participate in election discussions.
The poll also reports that men are more likely (49 percent) than women (38 percent) to use the Internet to gather election info, while younger users are more inclined to use online sources: 59 percent of respondents under 35 use the Internet to get election data compared to 39 percent of those over 35 and just 18 percent of those over 65 years of age.