Forty-two percent of 1,047 U.S. adults surveyed by the company's Performics division said they intended to use the Web for information about the 2008 elections more than they did in 2004. Overall, that same proportion (42%) also said they currently use the Web as a source for political information. That group tends to skew young, with almost nine in 10 respondents (88%) between the ages of 18 and 34 saying they use the Web for election news, compared to only 25% of those 65 and older.
Of the respondents who turn to the Web for political information, 60% visit TV or news magazine Web sites, 42% go to search engines, 36% visit newspaper sites and 45% head to other online news sites, as among their top 3 choices. Web sites for individual candidates drew just 18%, while political action or issues-based sites garnered 11%, consumer groups attracted 9% and blogs were cited by just 5%.
Offline sources still remain the primary sources of political information, however. TV news and talk shows were listed as the primary means of getting political news by 41% of respondents, followed by local or national newspapers with 26%, radio news or talk shows with 14%, the Internet with 12% and friends or family with 5%.