Posted by: jeanmurin | August 3, 2009

The Internet & The 2008 Election

I am well aware of the spike in internet usage in regards to political awareness, but after reading the Pew Internet research article of the internet’s role in the 2008 campaign, I was actually surprised that the use of online sources to gather information was not higher.

The research concluded that 74% of internet users went online during the campaign, which translates to 55% of the adult population. This is over half of the adult population.

Perhaps it is my generation and the habits of my peers, but I would have expected the number to be higher. I literally do not know anyone (besides maybe my grandparents who couldn’t figure out email if they tried) who does not seek out information about anything and everything online.

This was the first time in Pew Internet research that over half the adult voting-age population used the internet as a political resource. Maybe I’m naive, but I thought everyone supplemented what they read in newspapers and watched on television with their own internet research! The percentages found in the study were certainly a majority, but I expected a higher percentage.

Either way, I think it’s fantastic that so many people are using the internet to engage in the political process.



  1. I think you alluded to the reason: internet use varies according to generation. 72% of 18-29 year old internet users went on the internet during the campaign for “political purposes” compared to only 22% of the 65+ age group. The total numbers differ a lot also which far fewer 65+ have and regularly use the internet.

    Over time the number of people making use of the internet over traditional media will surely increase.

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