Election 2012: How Voters Play Smartphone Politics - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
News
10/16/2012
12:48 PM
50%
50%

Election 2012: How Voters Play Smartphone Politics

Smartphone-toting voters use devices to comment on news, but mobile apps from parties and candidates have yet to take off, Pew Research finds.

Social Studies: Obama vs. Romney
Social Studies: Obama vs. Romney
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
When President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney square off in the second presidential debate Tuesday night, voters around the country will be using their smartphones to follow the news, check facts, and weigh in on social media sites.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found that mobile phones have become a key information tool for the public in the 2012 election. "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," according to the Oct. 9 report.

The mobile politics report examines how registered voters across the political spectrum are using their phones during the campaign season. Among registered voters, 88% own cellphones, and 48% of those are smartphones. Nineteen percent of survey respondents with cellphones have sent campaign-related text messages to family and acquaintances, and 45% of smartphone users have read comments on social networking sites about a political candidate or campaigns.

[ Looking for a satisfying "second-screen" experience? See Social Media Guide To The Presidential Debates. ]

But political candidates apparently are not doing an effective job at connecting with on-the-go voters via mobile applications. The survey found that only 5% of cellphone carrying respondents have signed up to receive messages from candidates or other political groups, and just 8% have used apps from a candidate, political party, or interest group to get information about the campaign. "At the moment, cellphone apps are playing a relatively minor role in connecting voters to candidates," according to the report.

People are using their mobile devices to check on the veracity of political messaging. Thirty-five percent of smartphone users have used their devices to check whether something they heard about a candidate or campaign is true. And 27% of registered voters with cellphones have used their devices to follow the news around the 2012 presidential election,

Pew surveyed 1,005 U.S. residents September 20-23 for the report, which did not find big differences in device usage by party affiliation. "Republicans and Democrats engage at comparable levels in all of the mobile-politics activities measured," according to the report.

Among Republicans, 90% have cellphones and 45% have smartphones; regarding Democrats, 85% have cellphones and 47% have smartphones, and of Independents, 89% have cellphones and 49% have smartphones. Liberals (56%) and moderates (55%) outstrip conservatives (40%) in smartphone ownership.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
Commentary
Preparing for the Upcoming Quantum Computing Revolution
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  6/3/2021
News
How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll