Pew released new survey findings on how voters are using their cell phones to get political news and interact with the campaigns and other voters. The big-picture finding from the report is that registered voters across the political spectrum—Democrats and Republicans alike—are using their phones for political activities and information in the 2012 race.
The State of the 2012 Election — Mobile Politics
Among the key findings:
- As of late September, 88% of registered voters own a cell phone of some kind—and significant numbers of these voters are using their mobile devices to get information about the 2012 election, to interact with the campaigns, and to converse with other voters about political issues:
— 27% of registered voters who own a cell phone have used their phone in this election campaign to keep up with news related to the election itself or to political issues in general.
— Three quarters of these cell-owning registered voters use their phone to send or receive text messages, and within this group:
- 19% have sent text messages related to the campaign to friends, family members, or others
- 5% have signed up to receive text messages directly from a candidate or other group involved in the campaign
- 5% say that they have received unwanted election-related text messages that they did not sign up to receive
Smartphone owners are using their mobile devices as a tool for political participation on social networking sites and as a way to fact check campaign statements in real time. Roughly half (48%) of registered voters who own a cell phone say that they have a smartphone, and within this group:
- 45% have used their smartphone to read other people’s comments on a social networking site about a candidate or the campaign in general
- 35% have used their smartphone during this election campaign to look up whether something they just heard about a candidate or the campaign in general was true or not
- 18% have used their smartphone to post their own comments on a social networking site about a candidate or the campaign in general
· Among registered voters who own a smartphone, 45% have used their phone to read other people’s comments about the campaign on social networking sites, and 35% have used their phone to fact-check statements about the campaign in real time
· Apps are currently playing a small role in the mobile politics environment—among registered voters who use cell phone apps, just 8% have used an app from a candidate, party or interest group to get political news or information
The report is available at http://pewinternet.org/
Pay attention if you’re planning a mil rate or building / bond issue vote in the coming years.