Pew finds 26% of Americans used smartphones in midterm elections

Pew chartBy now we know that social media and geo-social outlets were incredibly influential in our voting trends this year. Pew Research Center published a report today that took a critical look at how exactly Americans used mobile politics in our recent midterm elections.

In addition to finding that a whopping 26% of Americans used their smartphones for voting purposes during the 2010 midterm elections, the study was also able to discover what exactly the demographic looked like. The “mobile political user group” (as Pew labels it) is primarily male, young, financially stable, and tends to be “better educated.” Pew also noted that a larger percentage of African-Americans took part in mobile politics than other ethnicities.

And what were members of this group largely doing to involve themselves? Bragging. Pew reports that 14 percent of American adults were using smartphones to announce they had voted. Regardless of who participated in mobile politics and how, there was equal representation. The survey found that votes for Democratic and Republican candidates were split evenly.

Aside from the 14 percent who posted their voting activity, here’s a look at how others took part. Pew reports that:

  • 12 percent used smartphones to “keep up with news about the election or politics.”
  • 10 percent used smartphones to text about the election.
  • 6 percent used smartphones to report “conditions” (like long lines or poor turnout) at their voting locations.
  • 4 percent used smartphones for finding election results.
  • 3 percent used smartphones to “shoot and share photos or videos related to the election.”
  • 1 percent used apps that were tailored to candidates or other election news.
  • 1 percent donated to campaigns via text message.


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