pewresearch:

The growth of social media and the rapid adoption of internet-enabled mobile devices have changed the way Americans engage in the political process.  Here’s a summary of the latest data from national surveys taken during the 2012 campaign.  

Politics goes digital.

pewresearch:

The growth of social media and the rapid adoption of internet-enabled mobile devices have changed the way Americans engage in the political process.  Here’s a summary of the latest data from national surveys taken during the 2012 campaign.  

Politics goes digital.

Post-election look: Who uses social networking sites, according to party identification.

Post-election look: Who uses social networking sites, according to party identification.

Are you in the 22% today?

The types of political videos voters are watching, broken down by party ID -
(New report out today: http://pewrsr.ch/TYakCi)

The types of political videos voters are watching, broken down by party ID -

(New report out today: http://pewrsr.ch/TYakCi)

NEW REPORT OUT TODAY —
39% of American adults (66% of social media users) have used social media platforms to engage in at least 1 of 8 civic or political activities:
38% of those who use social networking sites (SNS) or Twitter use those social media to “like” or promote material related to politics or social issues that others have posted. Liberal Democrats who use social media are particularly likely to use the ‘like’ button—52% of them have done so and 42% of conservative Republicans have also done so.
35% of social media users have used the tools to encourage people to vote. Democrats who are social media users are more likely to have used social media to encourage voting—42% have done that compared with 36% of Republican social-media users and 31% of independents.
34% of social media users have used the tools to post their own thoughts or comments on political and social issues. Liberal Democrats who use social media (42%) and conservative Republicans (41%) are especially likely to use social media this way.
33% of social media users have used the tools to repost content related to political or social issues that was originally posted by someone else.  Republican social media users are more likely to do this on social media—39% have used social media to repost content, compared with 34% of social media using Democrats and 31% of independents.
31% of social media users have used the tools to encourage other people to take action on a political or social issue that is important to them. Some 36% of social-media-using Democrats have done this as have 34% of Republicans. This compares to 29% of independents who are social media users.
28% of social media users have used the tools to post links to political stories or articles for others to read. The social media users who are liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are the most likely to have used social media this way (39% and 34% respectively).
21% of those who use SNS or Twitter belong to a group on a social networking site that is involved in political or social issues, or that is working to advance a cause. There are no major differences by ideology or partisanship when it comes to using social media this way.
20% of social media users have used the tools to follow elected officials and candidates for office.  Some 32% of the conservative Republicans who use social media follow officials on social media and 27% of liberal Democrats who use social media do so.
Which of these do you engage in regularly?

NEW REPORT OUT TODAY —

39% of American adults (66% of social media users) have used social media platforms to engage in at least 1 of 8 civic or political activities:

  • 38% of those who use social networking sites (SNS) or Twitter use those social media to “like” or promote material related to politics or social issues that others have posted. Liberal Democrats who use social media are particularly likely to use the ‘like’ button—52% of them have done so and 42% of conservative Republicans have also done so.
  • 35% of social media users have used the tools to encourage people to vote. Democrats who are social media users are more likely to have used social media to encourage voting—42% have done that compared with 36% of Republican social-media users and 31% of independents.
  • 34% of social media users have used the tools to post their own thoughts or comments on political and social issues. Liberal Democrats who use social media (42%) and conservative Republicans (41%) are especially likely to use social media this way.
  • 33% of social media users have used the tools to repost content related to political or social issues that was originally posted by someone else.  Republican social media users are more likely to do this on social media—39% have used social media to repost content, compared with 34% of social media using Democrats and 31% of independents.
  • 31% of social media users have used the tools to encourage other people to take action on a political or social issue that is important to them. Some 36% of social-media-using Democrats have done this as have 34% of Republicans. This compares to 29% of independents who are social media users.
  • 28% of social media users have used the tools to post links to political stories or articles for others to read. The social media users who are liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are the most likely to have used social media this way (39% and 34% respectively).
  • 21% of those who use SNS or Twitter belong to a group on a social networking site that is involved in political or social issues, or that is working to advance a cause. There are no major differences by ideology or partisanship when it comes to using social media this way.
  • 20% of social media users have used the tools to follow elected officials and candidates for office.  Some 32% of the conservative Republicans who use social media follow officials on social media and 27% of liberal Democrats who use social media do so.

Which of these do you engage in regularly?

Breakdown of registered voters within party ID who use political text messaging
(http://pewrsr.ch/Rb0eBf)

Breakdown of registered voters within party ID who use political text messaging

(http://pewrsr.ch/Rb0eBf)

Election 2012: Fact checking and other mobile operations

We’ve got a new study out today that details how folks are using their phone for the election/politics this cycle:

—27% of registered voters who own a cell phone have used their phone in this election campaign to keep up with news related to the election itself or to political issues in general.

—Three quarters of these cell-owning registered voters use their phone to send or receive text messages, and within this group:

  • 19% have sent text messages related to the campaign to friends, family members, or others
  • 5% have signed up to receive text messages directly from a candidate or other group involved in the campaign
  • 5% say that they have received unwanted election-related text messages that they did not sign up to receive

Smartphone owners are using their mobile devices as a tool for political participation on social networking sites and as a way to fact check campaign statements in real time. Roughly half (48%) of registered voters who own a cell phone say that they have a smartphone, and within this group:

  • 45% have used their smartphone to read other people’s comments on a social networking site about a candidate or the campaign in general
  • 35% have used their smartphone during this election campaign to look up whether something they just heard about a candidate or the campaign in general was true or not
  • 18% have used their smartphone to post their own comments on a social networking site about a candidate or the campaign in general

Read more …

(Source: pewinternet.org)

Of those who use social networking sites, a portion says the sites are important for some of their political activities and the way they decide how to engage with campaigns and issues. At the same time, most users of the sites say they do not use the sites for political purposes or debates.

Our new report, out today, finds that:

  • 36% of social networking site (SNS) users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in keeping up with political news.
  • 26% of SNS users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in recruiting people to get involved in political issues that matter to them.
  • 25% of SNS users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them for debating or discussing political issues with others.
  • 25% of SNS users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in finding other people who share their views about important political issues.

In each activity, Democrats who use social networking sites are more likely than Republicans or independents to say the sites are important.

Read more

(Source: pewinternet.org)

Obama Outpaces Romney in Direct Voter Communications on Web, Social Media
At the time of analysis (June 4-17, 2012), the Obama campaign had public accounts on nine separate platforms: Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Spotify and two accounts on Twitter (@BarackObama and @Obama2012).
That is twice that of the Romney campaign, which had public accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Google+. Romney has since expanded his presence, adding accounts on Tumblr and Spotify.
 The Obama campaign is also substantially more active in these domains. Across all the platforms studied, the Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign-614 Obama posts compared with 168 posts for Romney.The gap in activity was greatest on Twitter. Romney averaged one tweet a day. Obama averaged 29 tweets a day, (17 per day on @BarackObama, the Twitter Account associated with his presidency, and 12 on @Obama2012).
New analysis from the Project for Excellence in Journalism: Read more

Obama Outpaces Romney in Direct Voter Communications on Web, Social Media

At the time of analysis (June 4-17, 2012), the Obama campaign had public accounts on nine separate platforms: Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Spotify and two accounts on Twitter (@BarackObama and @Obama2012).

That is twice that of the Romney campaign, which had public accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Google+. Romney has since expanded his presence, adding accounts on Tumblr and Spotify.

 The Obama campaign is also substantially more active in these domains. Across all the platforms studied, the Obama campaign posted nearly four times as much content as the Romney campaign-614 Obama posts compared with 168 posts for Romney.

The gap in activity was greatest on Twitter. Romney averaged one tweet a day. Obama averaged 29 tweets a day, (17 per day on @BarackObama, the Twitter Account associated with his presidency, and 12 on @Obama2012).

New analysis from the Project for Excellence in Journalism: Read more

pewresearch:

“While more digital activity does not necessarily translate into more votes, historically candidates who are first to exploit changing technology have an advantage.  From Roosevelt to Reagan, presidential candidates have used the way they communicate to suggest that they understand how the country is changing.” 
Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism Director Tom Rosenstiel on the new report Obama Outpaces Romney in Direct Voter Communications on Web, Social Media 

pewresearch:

“While more digital activity does not necessarily translate into more votes, historically candidates who are first to exploit changing technology have an advantage.  From Roosevelt to Reagan, presidential candidates have used the way they communicate to suggest that they understand how the country is changing.” 

Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism Director Tom Rosenstiel on the new report Obama Outpaces Romney in Direct Voter Communications on Web, Social Media 

(Source: journalism.org)

"Mormons in America"
Via The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Many Mormons feel they are misunderstood, discriminated against and not accepted by other Americans as part of mainstream society. Yet, at the same time, a majority of Mormons think that acceptance of Mormonism is rising. 

"Mormons in America"

Via The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Many Mormons feel they are misunderstood, discriminated against and not accepted by other Americans as part of mainstream society. Yet, at the same time, a majority of Mormons think that acceptance of Mormonism is rising. 

pewresearch:

Many Voters Unaware of Basic Facts About GOP Candidates

pewresearch:

Many Voters Unaware of Basic Facts About GOP Candidates

The Media Primary: How News Media and Blogs Have Eyed the Presidential Contenders during the First Phase of the 2012 Race - Project for Excellence in Journalism

In the first months of the race for president, that weeding out period  before citizens ever vote or caucus, Texas Governor Rick Perry has  received the most coverage and the most positive coverage from the news  media of any GOP contender, according to a new study by the Pew Research  Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. 


The study, which examines news media and blog coverage of 10 GOP contenders as well as the president, also finds:

• News coverage of Herman Cain has been moderately more positive (28%) than negative (23%) overall. But most of that flattering narrative has come recently. From May through July, however, Cain was largely ignored, and his coverage was more negative or mixed.
• Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s coverage has been substantially more positive (31%) than negative (23%). But she had the wildest ride of any candidate. She moved from a long shot to a surprise contender, to an object of scrutiny, to a straw poll winner and back to unlikely underdog. At the same time, she has been largely pummeled in the blogs throughout.
• Though she never entered the race, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was the fourth-most-covered Republican figure in news coverage, and the most-discussed candidate in blogs. And despite her complaints about what she calls the “lamestream media,” Palin enjoyed coverage that was considerably more positive than negative—by a factor of almost 3-2—and much more positive than she received among bloggers.

Read more at journalism.org

The Media Primary: How News Media and Blogs Have Eyed the Presidential Contenders during the First Phase of the 2012 Race - Project for Excellence in Journalism

In the first months of the race for president, that weeding out period before citizens ever vote or caucus, Texas Governor Rick Perry has received the most coverage and the most positive coverage from the news media of any GOP contender, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. 

The study, which examines news media and blog coverage of 10 GOP contenders as well as the president, also finds:

News coverage of Herman Cain has been moderately more positive (28%) than negative (23%) overall. But most of that flattering narrative has come recently. From May through July, however, Cain was largely ignored, and his coverage was more negative or mixed.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s coverage has been substantially more positive (31%) than negative (23%). But she had the wildest ride of any candidate. She moved from a long shot to a surprise contender, to an object of scrutiny, to a straw poll winner and back to unlikely underdog. At the same time, she has been largely pummeled in the blogs throughout.

Though she never entered the race, Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was the fourth-most-covered Republican figure in news coverage, and the most-discussed candidate in blogs. And despite her complaints about what she calls the “lamestream media,” Palin enjoyed coverage that was considerably more positive than negative—by a factor of almost 3-2—and much more positive than she received among bloggers.

Read more at journalism.org

Internet activism has always been a medium of inclusiveness — Twitter and YouTube rather than either/or. And this time around, there will be even more new technologies no presidential candidate has used before, such as canvassing apps for the iPhone and iPad, or location-targeting technologies for field organizers.

At the same time, classic sites like Facebook and Google have new features that could change the 2012 dynamic in unpredictable ways.

“For even the most traditional kinds of actors to be nimble in these spaces, it’s mostly going to depend on their willingness to exploit these new tools and their interest in going into places where all the outcomes aren’t necessarily well understood,” says Lee Rainie, who directs the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project.

Pew research shows that, aided by the Tea Party’s enthusiasm, Republicans caught up to Democrats in their use of new media during the 2010 midterm elections.

Further Reading: