The growth of social media and rapid adoption of internet-enable mobile devices have changed the way Americans engage in the political process. An infographic provides a summary of the latest data from national surveys taken during the 2012 campaign.
Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have received more negative news coverage than positive in the general election, but coverage shifted markedly when the debates began. Obama fared much better in September, while Romney had the edge in October, according to a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Some 66% of registered voters who use the internet—55% of all registered voters—have gone online this election season to watch videos related to the election campaign or political issues.
Just as the presidential race is deadlocked, the candidates are running about even when it comes to the ground game. Voters report being contacted at about the same rates by each campaign. And neither candidate has a clear advantage among early voters.
Democrats are more likely to contribute online or from their cell phone, while Republicans are more likely to contribute in person, by phone call, or via regular mail.
The portrayal in the news media of the character and records of the two presidential contenders has been as negative as any campaign in recent times, and neither has enjoyed any advantage over the other. More of what the public hears about candidates also now comes from the campaigns themselves and less from journalists acting as independent reporters or interpreters of who the candidates are.
Barack Obama holds a distinct advantage over Mitt Romney in the way his campaign is using digital technology to communicate directly with voters.
The public is hearing little about increased spending by outside groups in the 2012 election. Just 25% have heard a lot about outside spending by groups not associated with the candidates or campaigns. Three-quarters are hearing a little or nothing at all about this. And just 40% can correctly identify the term “Super PAC.”
Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel this week highlights a potential weakness of his candidacy.
Republicans and Democrats find little to agree on these days, but they have some similar reactions to the 2012 presidential campaign.