Study: Voters Turning to Internet for Election Information

Patrick Lux/Getty
Patrick Lux/Getty

Voters are increasingly rejecting traditional methods of obtaining information such as radio and television and instead turning to the internet, research has shown.

The survey, which was commissioned by Google conducted in partnership by a Republican and Democratic research firm, found that internet media has become the most prominent source for people obtaining information on politics.

Robert Blizzard, the Republican researcher from Public Opinion Strategies, said “persuadable voters [are] now going to get their information less from TV, but really online.”

“In terms of TV, the percentage of Americans who are cutting the cord is obviously growing by the day,” Blizzard continued.

Traditional methods such as television still play a role in informing voters about politics, especially for hearing from candidates and “setting the tone for the race,” Blizzard added, but internet media such as news sites, fact checkers, and social media profiles are fast becoming the most effective method of communicating with undecided  voters.

“The notion that campaigns are trying to reach these late deciders, and they’re not getting their information from from television, is significant,” said Julie Hootkin, who co-conducted the survey for Democratic party pollsters Global Strategy Group.

The study surveyed 500 “persuadable voters” across swing states such as Florida, North Carolina, and New Hampshire between 13th – 18th October.

Despite Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in some  polls, the Republican nominee has a far greater following on social media platforms, with 11.7 million Facebook followers to Clinton’s 7.5 million, and 12.7 million Twitter followers to Clinton’s 9.9 million.

Trump has also generated far greater engagement from his social media postings compared to Clinton. Whether this has an impact on next month’s election remains to be seen.

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