Online video is an increasingly popular way for voters to get political information, according to a new survey, with 55 percent of registered voters watching election-related videos during the course of the campaign. The survey suggests that a relatively small minority of voters who use the Internet are actively sharing online video recommendations, while most are on the receiving end.
The survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 84 percent of registered voters use the Internet, and of this group, 48 percent watched election-related video news online, 40 percent viewed recorded candidate speeches, press conferences, or debates, 37 percent watched parody videos or humor about the election, 36 percent watched campaign ads, and 28 percent went online to view campaign or political events live.
Overall, 40 percent of registered voters who use the Internet had video content pushed to them on social networks, 36 percent heard about a video in conversation, and 32 percent had video content recommended to them via e-mails or text messages. Pew broke down this information by ideology and party, and found that 53 percent of liberals received video content via a social network, compared to 35 percent of conservatives. Similarly, 47 percent of Democrats reported receiving content via a social network, compared to 39 percent of Republicans.
The survey suggests that a relatively small number of active sharers of content are pushing election-related links and recommendations. Overall, just 23 percent of registered voters who use the Internet reported sharing online videos. This number climbs to 32 percent for liberals and 26 percent for conservatives. About 62 percent of survey respondents reported being on the receiving end of an online video recommendation.
Pew's survey was based on phone interviews with 1,006 respondents conducted in mid-October, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.