Survey shows Internet’s broadening political role
NEW YORK (AP) — Would-be 2016 presidential candidates take note: the Internet may potentially make or break your campaign.
More Internet users than ever view online efforts as key to political campaigns, according to a survey released Thursday by the University of Southern California.
The USC Annenberg School’s Center for the Digital Future has polled more than 2,000 U.S. households about their Internet and technology use each year, starting in 1999. It has published the results every year since 2000, with the exception of 2011.
The latest results from the 2013 survey show that that 75 percent of Internet users age 16 and older agree that the Internet is important for the political campaign process. That was up from the previous high response of 72 percent in 2010.
And 37 percent of users in that age range said that by using the Internet, people like them can have more political power. That’s up from 29 percent in 2000.
“We may be entering a realm where the Internet plays a larger role in political campaigns than television does,” Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future, said in a statement.
In 2012, television ads were the primary communications tool for the campaigns of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, despite the gradual but persistent shift of viewers from television to the Internet. But both teams maintained a robust social media presence and used online ads for micro-targeting voters based on their reading and shopping habits.