After first gaining prominence as tools for political engagement during the 2008 presidential election, social media became a regular part of the political environment for voters in the 2010 midyear elections. Some 22% of online adults used Twitter or social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace in the months leading up to the November, 2010 elections to connect to the campaign or the election itself. (Overall, fully 73% of adult internet users went online to get news or information about the 2010 midterm elections, or to get involved in the campaign in one way or another.)
In contrast to the 2008 race—in which Democratic voters led the way in their use of online social networks for political purposes—Republican voters and supporters of the “Tea Party” movement caught up with Democrats in their use of social media in 2010.
“It is not necessarily that Democrats or young people or liberals have become less active,” author Aaron Smith told the New York Times. “It is more that older adults, conservative voters and Tea Party activists have come to join the party.” Read more...
About the Survey
This report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans' use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from November 3-24, 2010, among a sample of 2,257 adults, age 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. For more information, please see the Methodology section
of this report.