More than a quarter of American adults – 26% – used their cell phones to learn about or participate in the 2010 mid-term election campaign.
In a post-election nationwide survey of adults, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 82% of adults have cell phones. Of those cell owners, 71% use their phone for texting and 39% use the phone for accessing the internet. With that as context, the Pew Internet survey found that:
- 14% of all American adults used their cell phones to tell others that they had voted.
- 12% of adults used their cell phones to keep up with news about the election or politics.
- 10% of adults sent text messages relating to the election to friends, family members and others.
- 6% of adults used their cells to let others know about conditions at their local voting stations on election day, including insights about delays, long lines, low turnout, or other issues.
- 4% of adults used their phones to monitor results of the election as they occurred.
- 3% of adults used their cells to shoot and share photos or videos related to the election.
- 1% of adults used a cell-phone app that provided updates from a candidate or group about election news.
- 1% of adults contributed money by text message to a candidate or group connected to the election like a party or interest group.
If a respondent said she or he had done any of those activities in the last campaign season, we counted that person in this 26% cohort. Throughout this report we call this group “mobile political users” or the “mobile political population.” Read more...
About the Survey
The results reported here come from a survey of 2,257 adults conducted November 3 through November 24, 2010. Among them, 1,918 are cell phone users. The margin of error in the cell-user sample is +/- 3 percentage points. The survey was conducted both on landline phones and cell phones and some 755 of the interviews were conducted on cell phones in this sample. For more information, see the Methodology
section of this report.