Half of Americans Surveyed Lobbied for Their Candidate Using Social Networks

By Cameron Scott 

A survey backed by the Pew Internet and American Life project found that social networking takes second place only to face-to-face conversations as a way to communicate about the election.

Surveying more than 1,000 Americans by phone, including both landlines and cell phones, the study found that 48 percent had been encouraged to vote for one of the major candidates in an in-person conversation, and 54 percent had endeavored to get a family member or friend to vote for their candidate in such a conversation. Thirty percent of voters had been pitched on a candidate on a social network; a quarter had used a social network to try to persuade others.

Phone beat out email to be the third popular means of communicating about the election. Nearly 30 percent received voting advice by phone and 20 percent gave it. Just over a fifth of respondents had received emails from family or friends and only 12 percent sent emails. Text messaging wasn’t the means of choice for electoral persuasion with about 10 percent using it.

A full fifth of registered voters responding to the survey had disclosed how they voted or planned to vote using Facebook of Twitter. For those under 50, that percentage jumped to 29 percent.

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