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3/10/2008
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Most Americans Never Read Political Blogs, Harris Poll Finds

Republicans are more likely to find value and accuracy in political blogs than Democrats, a survey of 2,300 U.S. adults revealed.

Despite the attention given to political blogs, only one in five Americans read them regularly, a research firm said Monday.

In fact, 56% of Americans say they never read blogs that discuss politics, and just under a quarter say they read them several times a year, Harris Interactive found in a survey of more than 2,300 U.S. adults.

Surprisingly, those who read blogs are less likely to be young adults. Some 19% of adults aged 18 to 31 read political blogs regularly, defined as several times a month or more; and only 17 % of people aged 32 to 43 say the same.

Among older adults, more than a quarter aged 63 and older read political blogs regularly, along with 23% of adults aged 44 to 62, Harris found. Among Republicans and Democrats, just 22% and 20%, respectively, regularly read political blogs. Independents are slightly more likely to read them, with just over a quarter saying they do regularly.

While anyone can write a blog or comment on one, that didn't seem to detract from their credibility among readers. Only one in five regular readers said the information is less accurate than the mainstream media, while three in 10 said they were more accurate. Almost half of the readers said the blogs were as accurate as mainstream media.

Beside accuracy, a third of regular blog readers said information from the sites is more valuable than information from mainstream media, and half said what they read is just as valuable. Only 18% said the information was less valuable. Republicans are more likely to find value and accuracy in political blogs than Democrats.

While more Americans could turn to blogs as the campaign season shifts from the primary to the general election, it's also possible that the novelty of blogs has faded, Harris said in a statement.

"As the cable news channels all have seen their viewership rise with each passing debate, primary and caucus, maybe political news watchers are leaving the Internet for their political information and going back to television."

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