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Survey confirms Internet’s influence on voting

Forty-two percent of Americans expect to search for more information on the Internet next year than they did for the 2004 presidential election, according to a survey conducted by DoubleClick’s Performics division.

The study highlighted the use of the Internet as a means of gathering information related to politics and the 2008 presidential election. Reliance on the Internet for political information is strongly related to age, the study found, decreasing from 88 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds to 25 percent among Americans aged 65 and older.

While television news and talk shows, local and national newspapers, and news radio are the primary channels for political information, 42 percent of Americans say the Internet will play an important role in helping them decide who to vote for in the 2008 presidential election, Performics said.

The majority (or 67 percent) of Americans “always,” “often” or “sometimes” search online for more information about a candidate or political issue at some point during the election. Sixty-eight percent of the majority read print editions of local or national newspapers, while the Internet (59 percent) is used a little more often than television news and talk shows (58 percent), with radio news and talk shows (50 percent), and family and friends (48 percent) behind.

The findings were pulled from a telephone survey conducted Feb. 8 to 11 among a random sample of 1,014 adults. Opinion Research Corp., Princeton, NJ, conducted the fieldwork.

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