I just located another study confirming the growing impact that the Internet has on voter decisions. A Performic survey released in February found that 42 percent of Americans say the Internet will pay an important role in deciding who they will vote for in the upcoming presidential election.
In a press release revealing the results of the survey, Performic states:
“As the 2008 presidential candidates hit the campaign trail, we were curious to find out how Americans plan to learn about their choices for our next president. We suspected that as the public continues to rely on the Internet as an important information source, people will seek political information via search engines in a manner similar to the way that they already search for information regarding consumer purchases, meaning that after they first hear about a candidate or issue, they will conduct broad searches to gather information and then narrow down the candidates and issues until they ultimately reach a decision,” said Stuart Frankel, president of Performics.
“With 42 percent of Americans saying the Internet will play an important role in deciding who to vote for in the 2008 election, there is a large opportunity to leverage search engine marketing and optimization as a strategy for political campaigning.”
The study found that of those who visit a candidate’s website, 72 percent say they are primarily looking for the candidate’s stance on specific issues, 16 percent say they are looking for the candidate’s voting record, 6 percent say they are looking for what others say about the candidate and 4 percent say they are looking for which organizations have endorsed the candidate.
Not surprisingly the survey confirms that television news, talk shows, local and national newspapers, and news radio are still the primary means for political information for people researching campaigns and candidates.
Performic based their findings on a telephone survey conducted among a random sample of 1,014 adults.
(The survey was found via Blog the Campaign in 08)