Voters Are Networking

Public Opinion Strategies completed a national survey of 800 likely 2010 voters (April 19-21, 2009) where we asked a few demographic questions about cell phones and networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  As you would suspect only a small percentage (13%) of voters do not have a working cell phone and one-third of likely voters use networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster or Twitter. 


As has been pointed out in another post about social networking it is experiencing growth like the dotcom industry a decade ago.  On four national surveys in 2008 we asked likely voters, “When you go on the Internet, do you ever use networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Friendster?” and after merging the results of 3,200 interviews just 19% of likely voters said they used social network websites. 


In less than a year, almost twice (34%) as many voters now say they use social network sites.   While the question wording now includes Twitter other studies show that Facebook is growing very quickly, so not all of the increase in the use of social networks is a result of Twitter users.


I also looked to see if there were any differences among users and party identification.  Look at the significant differences of social network use by party identification. 


Use Social Network Sites






Yes (34% overall)









Does this mean Republicans are more reluctant than Democrats to use social networking sites?  Or could it be that Democrats are doing a better a job than Republicans by using social networking sites to organize and build the party? I don’t know the answers but with the exponential growth in social networking, Republican campaigns need to do a better job of using these types of sites for our benefit. 


What does this mean for campaigns?  Think back just a few short years ago to 2006 when political campaigns were trying to figure out how ways to take advantage of technology in cell phones and social networking sites such as Facebook only had 8 million users, who were primarily college students.  For 2010, campaigns at all levels need to have not just a presence on social networking sites but make it an active part of their campaign.




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