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The 2012 Social
Election Survey
Exploring the Role of Social Media in Influencing
Perceptions and Voter Behavior in the 2012
Presidential Election
January 2013




               #socialelection
Objectives of the 2012 Social Election Survey

  To understand:
     – How the public was using social media to learn about and
       engage in discussions about the election
     – The perceived credibility of social media relative to other
       sources of information
     – The influence of social media in shaping perceptions about the
       candidates and issues
     – How effectively the candidates used social media to engage the
       electorate
     – Demographic differences in perception and behavior



                                                                        2
Demographics




         #socialelection
Demographics
  Gender & Age
                                                        AGE
         SAMPLE SIZE
           n=806                        18 - 25 years         8%

       Fielding: 10/29/12 - 11/13/12
                                                                     17%
          Margin of Error: ±3.45        26 - 35 years


                                        36 - 45 years              15%
              GENDER
                                        46 - 55 years                      24%

                              Female
                                                                         23%
                               55%      56 - 65 years

Male                                   Over 65 years               13%
45%



                                                                                 4
Demographics
  Education & Income

      HIGHEST EDUCATION COMPLETED                              HOUSEHOLD INCOME



  Some high school     2%                                  Less than $25,000           17%

High School Diploma                   15%                                                  23%
                                                          $25,000 to $50,000

      Some college                           22%                                          20%
                                                          $50,000 to $75,000
   Associate Degree             10%                                                 13%
                                                         $75,000 to $100,000
   Bachelors Degree                               25%
                                                        $100,000 to $125,000      9%
    Masters Degree                          20%
                                                        $125,000 to $150,000   7%
         Doctorate         5%
                                                                                  12%
                                                         More than $150,000
             Other    1%

                                                                                           5
Demographics
Employment Status

                                  EMPLOYMENT STATUS


                Employed full                         54%
                   time
               Employed part         9%
                   time

                    Unemployed          12%


                       Student    4%


                        Retired           16%


                         Other     5%




                                                            6
Demographics
 Political Orientation & Candidate Supported
               POLITICAL LEANING                               CANDIDATE SUPPORTED

                                                                                           49%
                                                     Obama
 More liberal than                            48%
  conservative                                                                       36%
                                                     Romney
                                                                            12%
More conservative                              52%   Neither
  than liberal                                                       3%
                                                      Other


                                    POLITICAL AFFILIATION

              Democratic Party                                            41%

              Republican Party                                 29%

                     Independent                        23%

                      Libertarian    1%

                     Green Party    0%

                           Other         5%                                                7
Election Interest and Vote Influencers




           #socialelection
Interest in the Election
Overall, Gender & Age

                   Overall                  37%                       32%                 20%      8% 3%


                                                45%                           32%              14% 6% 2%
    GENDER

                      Male

                   Female                 30%                   31%                  25%         10% 5%


                     18-25                31%                   27%                 25%         9% 7%

                     26-35              27%                     36%                  24%          10%3%
    AGE




                     36-45                31%                     33%                19%        9% 8%

                     46-55                  36%                      30%                 21%      11%2%

                     56-65                    42%                            32%           19%       6%
                                                                                                      1%

                  Over 65                          55%                             25%          16% 2%
                                                                                                     2%

                    Extremely             Very         Moderately              Slightly         Not At All
             How closely are you following the 2012 presidential election?
                                                                                                             9
Top 3 Issues Determining Presidential Vote
                                                                                                               Top 3
                                                                                                               Total
                                                                         52%                  26%      16%     94%
                          The economy and jobs

                                                                   29%            32%           22%            83%
                                         Health care

                                                              15%           30%          29%                   74%
                                The federal deficit

                                                                22%         19%         26%                    67%
                                           Education

                National security and defense                 9%      23%         31%                          63%


Social Issues, incl. abortion and gay marriage                 16%       21%      21%                          58%


                                               Energy       4% 15%          23%                                42%


            The environment/climate change                    9% 10% 15%                                       34%


                                        Immigration          7% 9%       18%                                   34%


                                                 Other        9% 5% 9%                                         23%
                                                                   Rank 1         Rank 2              Rank 3
        Please rank the top three issues determining your vote for president.
                                                                                                                 10
Ranking Top 3 Issues
Gender & Political Leaning

         PERCENTAGE WHO RANKED EACH ISSUE IN THEIR TOP 3 VOTE DETERMINANTS
                                                                  GENDER                       POLITICAL LEANING
                                       OVERALL               Male          Female             Liberal   Conservative
The economy and jobs                      94%                95%              93%              92%          95%
Health care                               83%                78%              87%              87%          78%
The federal deficit                       74%                79%              66%              56%          82%
Education                                 67%                61%              73%              77%          54%
National security and defense             63%                65%              60%              53%          69%
Social Issues, such as abortion
                                          58%                43%              67%              67%          46%
and gay marriage
Energy                                    42%                50%              34%              38%          46%
Immigration                               34%                37%              32%              30%          40%
The environment/climate
                                          34%                31%              38%              49%          11%
change


         Assume you are going to vote in the November election. Please rank the top three issues                  11
         determining your vote for president.
Participation in the 2012 Election




           #socialelection
Political Engagement and Participation
   Overall
                         ACTIVITIES ON BEHALF OF A CANDIDATE OR PARTY


                      Donated money                                                25%

   Connected through social media                                                23%

          Subscribed to online news                                13%

  Participated in rallies or meetings                          10%

                     Volunteered time                          10%

Participated in fundraising activities                    6%

                                    Other             3%

     Led or organized group events                 1%

                   None of the above                                                                   54%

            In the past 12 months, which of the following activities, if any, have you engaged in on
            behalf of a candidate or political party:                                                    13
Method Used to Make Political Donations
Overall


                                                                                        77%
                       Online/website

                                                                            52%
                                      Mail

                                                                     36%
                              In-person

                                                            19%
                               Facebook

                  Mobile phone/text                         18%
                      message

                                                       8%
                                    Other


      Which of the following tools did you use to make a donation to a candidate, political
      party, or political action committee in the past 12 months?                             14
Learning About and Discussing the
Election




           #socialelection
Discussing Politics with Family & Friends
Overall, Gender & Candidate Supported
                                   HOW OFTEN YOU DISCUSS POLITICS & CURRENT EVENTS


                         Overall                      46%                            37%             13% 4%




                            Male                        51%                            33%           14% 3%
   GENDER




                         Female                     41%                            40%               14% 4%




                                                      45%                             41%             11%3%
   SUPPORT




               Barack Obama


                Mitt Romney                               57%                              32%        10%1%

                                             Very often             Sometimes              Rarely      Never
             How often, if ever, do you talk about politics or current events with your family and
             friends?                                                                                          16
Sources of Information – Top Tier
Overall
                                                                                                            Mean


  The candidates and their campaigns                                                                  50%    3.4

 Cable television news, including CNN,                                                               47%     3.2
        FOX News, and MSNBC
   Broadcast news channels, including                                                          42%           3.1
        ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX

                       Friends and family                                                      41%           3.2


             Academic or issue experts                                                     37%               2.9

Online national publications including                                                    36%                3.0
     newspapers and magazines

                         Internet searches                                                36%                3.0

Public television, including C-SPAN and                                                   36%                2.9
                   PBS

        How valuable are each of the following as ways for you to learn about policy issues?                   17
Sources of Information – Bottom Tier
 Overall
                                                                                                            Mean

                Print national publications                                                           34%   2.9

                        The political parties                                                         33%   2.9

                  Online local publications                                                     29%         2.8

                    Print local publications                                                    27%         2.7

                     Survey and poll results                                         20%                    2.5

                                  Social media                                       20%                    2.3

Interest-groups & advocacy organizations                                          19%                       2.5

           Inside-the-beltway publications                                       19%                        2.3

                                            Blogs                              18%                          2.2

                                      Lobbyists                   8%                                        1.9

                                           Other                            15%                             2.1

         How valuable are each of the following as ways for you to learn about policy issues?                      18
General Use of Social Media




           #socialelection
Social Networks Currently Used
Overall Size of the Social Media Universe
                                                                                                2011-2012
                                       Top Social Networks by Unique PC Visitors               Year on Year
                                                   (Audience, ‘000’s)                            Change

   Facebook                                                                          152,226      -4%

     Blogger                                                  58,518                              -3%

     Twitter                                  37,033                                             +13%

  WordPress                                 30,945                                               +10%

    LinkedIn                            28,113                                                     0%

   Pinterest                            27,223                                                  +1,047%

    Google+                            26,201                                                    +80%*

     Tumblr                           25,634                                                     +55%

   Myspace                        19,680                                                          -13%

      Wikia                   12,594                                                             +20%

       Source: Nielsen Social Media Report 2012
        *Google+ is July 2012 v. Sept 2012, the first month the site became public                       20
Social Networks Currently Used
Overall & Gender



      81%
74%
   69%




                             32%33%
                25%               30%
              24% 24%                       24%24% 24%                        23%               21%
                                                                        15%                  18%
                                                                                                  13%
                                                             3%4%3%           7%    3%4%3%

Facebook      Twitter        LinkedIn        Google+      Foursquare Pinterest      Other     I do not
                                                                                             use social
                                                                                             networks
                                        Overall             Male         Female

         Which of the following social networks do you currently use?
                                                                                                          21
Connecting to Social Networks
Trends in Multi-Platform Connectivity.


                          Trends in How We Connect to Social Media
  94% 97%                                2011-2012




                  46%
                         37%
                                                                                               2011
                                                                                               2012
                                                            16%
                                     7% 7%
                                                   4% 3%          3%     4% 2%       3% 2%

  Computer        Mobile         Handheld          Game     Tablet      Internet    E-Reader
                  Phone         Music Player      Console               Enabled
                                                                       Television



       Source: Nielsen Social Media Report 2012
                                                                                               22
Comparing the Quality and
Credibility of Traditional and Social
Media



            #socialelection
Comparing the Quality of Social and Traditional
Media
Overall & Age


                 Overall              24%                        39%                       31%            6%



                   18-25                 31%                           40%                       25%       4%

                   26-35               28%                         37%                      30%           5%
         AGE




                   36-45                 32%                          36%                   25%           7%

                   46-55              24%                          45%                       24%          8%

                   56-55          16%                      43%                             36%            6%

                Over 65            18%                     39%                             39%             4%
                               Higher Quality          About the Same             Lower Quality        Don't know

      How do you compare the quality of information you find on social media to
      traditional news channels? (Traditional news channels are defined as Broadcast and                        24
      Cable TV, radio, newspapers and magazines)
Using Social Media to Follow the
Election




           #socialelection
Use of Social Networks for Political Activities
Overall

                  PERCENTAGE RATING SOCIAL NETWORKS AS SOMEWHAT OR VERY IMPORTANT FOR:



                                                                                              43%
                 Keeping up with political news



   Debating or discussing political issues with                                             39%
                     others


   Finding other people who share your views                                                38%
         about important political issues


          Recruiting people to get involved with                                      31%
            political issues that matter to you



       Overall, how important are social networking sites to you personally when it
       comes to each of the following?                                                              26
Use of Social Networks for Political Activities
Age
                                                                                                   52%
                                                                                                          58%
 Keeping up with political news                                                                     54%
                                                                                       39%
                                                                             32%
                                                                                       39%
                                                                                             46%
                                                                                                    55%
Debating or discussing political                                                             45%
      issues with others                                                    32%
                                                                          30%
                                                                              36%
                                                                                         44%
Finding other people who share                                                                     54%
  your views about important                                                                 46%
                                                                            33%                            18-25
         political issues                                                 29%
                                                                              35%                          26-35
                                                                                      42%                  36-45
     Recruiting people to get                                                           45%                46-55
   involved with political issues                                                  37%
                                                                    24%                                    56-65
        that matter to you                                          25%
                                                                     25%                                   Over 65

        Overall, how important are social networking sites to you personally when it
        comes to each of the following?                                                                              27
Social Media Engagement in the Presidential
  Election
  Overall

     Watched an online video about a candidate or issue                                                              41%
Responded to a post about a candidate or issue (including                                                      35%
            by a comment, retweet or +1)

         Liked a candidate or political group on Facebook                                                      34%

Created a post, tweet or status update about a candidate
                                                                                                         25%
                         or issue

                                  Encouraged others to vote                                        20%

                                          Indicated you voted                                  19%

        Followed a candidate or political group on Twitter                           11%

        Pinned something about a candidate on Pinterest                     4%

        Checked in a location such as a rally or event for a
                    candidate on Foursquare
                                                                           4%
    Added a candidate or political group to you circles on
                         Google+
                                                                          3%

            In which of the following social media activities have you engaged in related to the
            candidates or issues in the presidential election?                                                         28
Sharing Political Views on Social
Media




           #socialelection
Display Political Affiliation on Social Media
Overall & Age




     OVERALL                                                                        AGE



                 No                         45%
                72%                                       60%
                                                                       70%
   Yes                                                                                77%           84%      82%     No
   28%                                                                                                               Yes
                                            55%
                                                          40%
                                                                       30%           23%            16%      18%

                                         18-25        26-35         36-45         46-55        56-65      Over 65




         Some social media sites allow you to indicate your political affiliation? Do you display
         your political affiliation on any of your social network profiles?                                         30
Other Political Views in Social Network
Overall & Age


                      POLITICAL VIEWS OF OTHERS IN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS

                                          54%



               25%

                                                                                            13%
                                                                     8%




    Most share my           There's an even             Most do not                  Don't know
    political views         mix who do and            share my political
                            do not share my                 views
                             political views


      How would you describe the political views of the people in your social networks?
                                                                                                  31
Using Social Media to Engage in Political Discussions
Overall & Age


      OVERALL                                                                 AGE




             No                     48%           49%            54%
Yes                                                                             68%             63%      63%
            59%
41%                                                                                                               No
                                                                                                                  Yes
                                    52%           51%            46%
                                                                                32%             37%      37%


                                 18-25         26-35          36-45          46-55             56-65   Over 65




        In the past 6 months, have you engaged in a political conversation online with other
        people in your social networks?                                                                          32
Form of Political Discussions on Social Media
Overall & Gender

                                                                                         72%
                                                                            65%
                                                                                  59%
                                                  52% 52%
                                                                49%


        25%
  19%
              13%               10%
                           6%         4%                                                       6% 6% 6%


  One-on-one           Group video                 Private            Public messages           Other
video chats (ex.       chats (ex. on           messages such          that anyone can
on Facebook or           Google                 as Facebook             see, such as
   Google+)             Hangouts)                messages,            tweets and wall
                                               Twitter direct             posts on
                                                messages or              Facebook
                                               Google chats
                                       Overall           Male           Female

        [For those who engaged in political discussions] What form did those political
        conversations take?                                                                               33
Blocking Connections Because of Their Views
Overall & Political Leaning




             OVERALL                                                       POLITICAL LEANING


                      No
                     81%
            Yes                                                     78%                        85%
                                                                                                     No
            19%
                                                                                                     Yes
                                                                    22%                        15%

                                                                 Liberal             Conservative




       In the past 12 months, have you defriended, blocked or hidden a connection because of
       their political views?                                                                        34
The Influence of Social Media




           #socialelection
Extent Social Networks Increased Knowledge of
Candidates
Overall, Gender & Age
                                           Social Media Increased Knowledge of
                                                   Candidates and Issues

                        Total           19%                32%                          42%                  7%
   GENDER




                        Male             22%               26%                         46%                   6%

                      Female           17%                  37%                           38%                7%


                        18-25                32%                        37%                     25%          6%

                       26-35                29%                         43%                           26%     1%
   AGE




                       36-45                30%                     33%                      31%             6%

                       46-55        10%             31%                             52%                      7%

                       56-65         12%              34%                             49%                    6%

                     Over 65            19%          16%                        53%                         12%
                                Significantly/Moderately          Somewhat/Slightly          No effect            Don't know
            To what extent has the information posted in your online social networks increased your
            knowledge of the candidates' positions on issues or character?                                                 36
Extent Social Networks Increased Knowledge of
Candidates
Candidate Supported & Political Leaning
                                      Social Media Increased Knowledge
                                           of Candidates and Issues


         SUPPORTED
         CANDIDATE

                       Barack Obama          21%        34%            38%        7%


                        Mitt Romney          21%       29%             46%        4%




                                             19%        37%             38%       6%
         POLITICAL
         LEANING




                                Liberal


                        Conservative         20%       28%            45%        7%


                        Significantly/Moderately          Somewhat/Slightly          No effect   Don't know

      To what extent has the information posted in your online social networks increased your
      knowledge of the candidates' positions on issues or character?                                          37
Influence of Social Media on Shaping Opinions
Overall, Gender & Age
                                   Social Media’s Influence on Shaping                                   Total
                                   Perceptions of Candidates and Issues                               Influential


           Overall     3%       8%                 18%                                                   29%



           18 - 25        7%              13%                          24%                               45%

           26 - 35       6%               17%                              26%                           49%

                         5%            15%                         22%                                   42%
     AGE




           36 - 45

           46 - 55     1%6%             12%                                                              19%

           56 - 65    2% 3%            13%                                                               19%

           Over 65    2% 5%               16%                                                            23%

                     Extremely influential          Very influential         Moderately influential

       Compared to other sources, how influential has the information on social media been in
       shaping your opinion of the candidates and issues in the presidential election?                              38
Social Media’s Influence on Candidate Support
Overall & Age
                                             Social Media’s Impact on Support of
                                                  Your Preferred Candidate

                   Overall               30%                                  67%                    3%



                     18-25                    43%                                 51%                6%

                     26-35                     45%                                   53%             1%

                     36-45                  38%                                  60%                 3%
   AGE




                     46-55            22%                                  73%                       5%

                     56-65            21%                                  77%                       3%

                  Over 65               26%                                  71%                     3%

                                                        Increased Support Significantly/Slightly
                                                        No Change
                                                        Decreased Support Significantly/Slightly

         Thinking specifically about your preferred candidate in this election, how has the
         information posted in your online social networks shaped your perceptions of him? Has it:        39
Which Candidate Was More Visible on Social Media
Age



                                                  Overall
                               Barack                              Mitt
                               Obama                              Romney
                                26%                                 15%




                                                                          Both,
                                                                          about
                           Don't
                                                                         equally
                           know
                                                                           38%
                            21%




      Which of the two main presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, have
      you seen more information about in your social networks?                            40
Portrayals of the Candidates on Social Media
                    Overall & Political Leaning
                                                         PERCEIVED CANDIDATE PORTRAYAL


                           OBAMA Overall                          43%                   13%             28%              16%

                          ROMNEY Overall                     31%               15%                  37%                  17%




                          OBAMA Liberal                               55%                       10%            20%       15%
POLITICAL LEANING




                         ROMNEY Liberal                   24%             16%                    43%                     17%



                     OBAMA Conservative                       34%                 16%                 36%                15%

                    ROMNEY Conservative                         38%                  15%                33%              14%


                                                         Positive          Neutral            Negative               Don't know
                           How would you describe the information you’ve seen about each candidate on social
                           media? Has it been:                                                                                    41
Grading the Candidates Use of Social
Media




           #socialelection
The Candidates Are Using Social Media Effectively
Overall, Political Leaning & Candidate Supported



                                  Overall               37%                      44%             19%
      POLITICAL
      LEANING




                                  Liberal                 43%                      41%            16%


                          Conservative                 33%                     46%               21%
      SUPPORTED
      CANDIDATE




                        Barack Obama                      45%                       41%           14%


                          Mitt Romney                  33%                    44%                23%


                                           Agree        Neither Agree nor Disagree                Disagree

       To what extent do you agree with this statement: "The presidential candidates are using
       social media effectively to communicate with people like me.”                                         43
Tone of the Presidential Election




           #socialelection
Overall Tone of the Presidential Election
Overall, Gender & Candidate Supported



                      Overall        5%        34%                    36%                 25%
 GENDER




                        Male         6%       28%                  35%                   31%


                     Female          5%         38%                      37%                20%
SUPPORTED
 CANDIDTE




            Barack Obama             7%           38%                     35%               20%


              Mitt Romney          3%       27%                 36%                    33%

                        Very civil        Somewhat civil          Somewhat uncivil            Very uncivil


            Overall, how would you describe the tone of the presidential election? This includes TV
            ads, speeches by the candidates, the political commentary and the debates. Would you             45
            say it is:
The Tone of the Election on Social Media
Overall

                          Comparing the Tone on Social Media to the
                                        Overall Tone


                          More civil,
                            14%                                          About the
                                                                         same, 30%




             Don't
           know, 25%
                                                                         Less Civil,
                                                                           31%




      Compared to the overall tone of the political discussion, would you say the tone of
      political discussion on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ is:    46
Bias in Social Media




           #socialelection
Comparing Bias in Social Media to Traditional
Media
Overall & Age


              Overall         13%         23%                        52%                      11% 1%




                                 24%                 32%                     36%                    2%
                18-25                                                                          7%


                26-35        12%          23%                      49%                    15% 1%


                36-45        11%         23%                        54%                       12% 1%
  AGE




                46-55        12%          24%                        51%                      12% 1%


                56-55        10%         23%                        55%                       10% 1%


             Over 65         10%      17%                          64%                         8%

 A lot more biased            More biased            About the same             Less biased          A lot less biased
        Is the information you see on social media more or less biased than the traditional
        media? The information on social media is:                                                                       48
Conclusions & Implications




           #socialelection
Conclusions & Implications
 It may not be the first place people turn to learn about candidates or issues,
 but social media is critical forum to share and shape opinions.
 Social media has closed the credibility gap as a news and information
 source, driving the imperative to monitor discussion of your brand.
 The accelerating rise of second- and third-tier networks creates new
 opportunities for customized content and engagement strategies
 across different platforms.
 Build your social networks before you need to use them, for the
 strength of your connections will determine the amplification of your
 message.
 Organizing on social media, younger voters are turning into a powerful
 voting block on social issues.




                                                                              50
Conclusions & Implications

 Political orientation is no longer a private affair but social media bumper
 stickers can never be removed.
 Your political statements can cost you some of your social media
 relationships.
 On social media, great visuals can be worth far more than a thousand
 words.
 Social analytics will become as important as polling in political science
 and advocacy.
 Are you using social media to gain insight into what energizes your
 audience, and tailoring your messages accordingly?




                                                                               51
Conclusion
A record breaking end to the first social election

 Election Day was the most
 retweeted event in history:
    – 31 million tweets
    – 327,425 tweets/minute
 This is the most retweeted post
 of all time:
 This is most liked popular photo
 on Facebook of all time:
    – 4.4 million likes
    – 215,000 comments
    – 580,299 shares



                                                     52
QUESTIONS?
For additional information go to:
www.ORIresults.com/socialelectionsurvey



         #socialelection

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2012 Social Election Survey Report Presentation Slides

  • 1. The 2012 Social Election Survey Exploring the Role of Social Media in Influencing Perceptions and Voter Behavior in the 2012 Presidential Election January 2013 #socialelection
  • 2. Objectives of the 2012 Social Election Survey To understand: – How the public was using social media to learn about and engage in discussions about the election – The perceived credibility of social media relative to other sources of information – The influence of social media in shaping perceptions about the candidates and issues – How effectively the candidates used social media to engage the electorate – Demographic differences in perception and behavior 2
  • 3. Demographics #socialelection
  • 4. Demographics Gender & Age AGE SAMPLE SIZE n=806 18 - 25 years 8% Fielding: 10/29/12 - 11/13/12 17% Margin of Error: ±3.45 26 - 35 years 36 - 45 years 15% GENDER 46 - 55 years 24% Female 23% 55% 56 - 65 years Male Over 65 years 13% 45% 4
  • 5. Demographics Education & Income HIGHEST EDUCATION COMPLETED HOUSEHOLD INCOME Some high school 2% Less than $25,000 17% High School Diploma 15% 23% $25,000 to $50,000 Some college 22% 20% $50,000 to $75,000 Associate Degree 10% 13% $75,000 to $100,000 Bachelors Degree 25% $100,000 to $125,000 9% Masters Degree 20% $125,000 to $150,000 7% Doctorate 5% 12% More than $150,000 Other 1% 5
  • 6. Demographics Employment Status EMPLOYMENT STATUS Employed full 54% time Employed part 9% time Unemployed 12% Student 4% Retired 16% Other 5% 6
  • 7. Demographics Political Orientation & Candidate Supported POLITICAL LEANING CANDIDATE SUPPORTED 49% Obama More liberal than 48% conservative 36% Romney 12% More conservative 52% Neither than liberal 3% Other POLITICAL AFFILIATION Democratic Party 41% Republican Party 29% Independent 23% Libertarian 1% Green Party 0% Other 5% 7
  • 8. Election Interest and Vote Influencers #socialelection
  • 9. Interest in the Election Overall, Gender & Age Overall 37% 32% 20% 8% 3% 45% 32% 14% 6% 2% GENDER Male Female 30% 31% 25% 10% 5% 18-25 31% 27% 25% 9% 7% 26-35 27% 36% 24% 10%3% AGE 36-45 31% 33% 19% 9% 8% 46-55 36% 30% 21% 11%2% 56-65 42% 32% 19% 6% 1% Over 65 55% 25% 16% 2% 2% Extremely Very Moderately Slightly Not At All How closely are you following the 2012 presidential election? 9
  • 10. Top 3 Issues Determining Presidential Vote Top 3 Total 52% 26% 16% 94% The economy and jobs 29% 32% 22% 83% Health care 15% 30% 29% 74% The federal deficit 22% 19% 26% 67% Education National security and defense 9% 23% 31% 63% Social Issues, incl. abortion and gay marriage 16% 21% 21% 58% Energy 4% 15% 23% 42% The environment/climate change 9% 10% 15% 34% Immigration 7% 9% 18% 34% Other 9% 5% 9% 23% Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3 Please rank the top three issues determining your vote for president. 10
  • 11. Ranking Top 3 Issues Gender & Political Leaning PERCENTAGE WHO RANKED EACH ISSUE IN THEIR TOP 3 VOTE DETERMINANTS GENDER POLITICAL LEANING OVERALL Male Female Liberal Conservative The economy and jobs 94% 95% 93% 92% 95% Health care 83% 78% 87% 87% 78% The federal deficit 74% 79% 66% 56% 82% Education 67% 61% 73% 77% 54% National security and defense 63% 65% 60% 53% 69% Social Issues, such as abortion 58% 43% 67% 67% 46% and gay marriage Energy 42% 50% 34% 38% 46% Immigration 34% 37% 32% 30% 40% The environment/climate 34% 31% 38% 49% 11% change Assume you are going to vote in the November election. Please rank the top three issues 11 determining your vote for president.
  • 12. Participation in the 2012 Election #socialelection
  • 13. Political Engagement and Participation Overall ACTIVITIES ON BEHALF OF A CANDIDATE OR PARTY Donated money 25% Connected through social media 23% Subscribed to online news 13% Participated in rallies or meetings 10% Volunteered time 10% Participated in fundraising activities 6% Other 3% Led or organized group events 1% None of the above 54% In the past 12 months, which of the following activities, if any, have you engaged in on behalf of a candidate or political party: 13
  • 14. Method Used to Make Political Donations Overall 77% Online/website 52% Mail 36% In-person 19% Facebook Mobile phone/text 18% message 8% Other Which of the following tools did you use to make a donation to a candidate, political party, or political action committee in the past 12 months? 14
  • 15. Learning About and Discussing the Election #socialelection
  • 16. Discussing Politics with Family & Friends Overall, Gender & Candidate Supported HOW OFTEN YOU DISCUSS POLITICS & CURRENT EVENTS Overall 46% 37% 13% 4% Male 51% 33% 14% 3% GENDER Female 41% 40% 14% 4% 45% 41% 11%3% SUPPORT Barack Obama Mitt Romney 57% 32% 10%1% Very often Sometimes Rarely Never How often, if ever, do you talk about politics or current events with your family and friends? 16
  • 17. Sources of Information – Top Tier Overall Mean The candidates and their campaigns 50% 3.4 Cable television news, including CNN, 47% 3.2 FOX News, and MSNBC Broadcast news channels, including 42% 3.1 ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX Friends and family 41% 3.2 Academic or issue experts 37% 2.9 Online national publications including 36% 3.0 newspapers and magazines Internet searches 36% 3.0 Public television, including C-SPAN and 36% 2.9 PBS How valuable are each of the following as ways for you to learn about policy issues? 17
  • 18. Sources of Information – Bottom Tier Overall Mean Print national publications 34% 2.9 The political parties 33% 2.9 Online local publications 29% 2.8 Print local publications 27% 2.7 Survey and poll results 20% 2.5 Social media 20% 2.3 Interest-groups & advocacy organizations 19% 2.5 Inside-the-beltway publications 19% 2.3 Blogs 18% 2.2 Lobbyists 8% 1.9 Other 15% 2.1 How valuable are each of the following as ways for you to learn about policy issues? 18
  • 19. General Use of Social Media #socialelection
  • 20. Social Networks Currently Used Overall Size of the Social Media Universe 2011-2012 Top Social Networks by Unique PC Visitors Year on Year (Audience, ‘000’s) Change Facebook 152,226 -4% Blogger 58,518 -3% Twitter 37,033 +13% WordPress 30,945 +10% LinkedIn 28,113 0% Pinterest 27,223 +1,047% Google+ 26,201 +80%* Tumblr 25,634 +55% Myspace 19,680 -13% Wikia 12,594 +20% Source: Nielsen Social Media Report 2012 *Google+ is July 2012 v. Sept 2012, the first month the site became public 20
  • 21. Social Networks Currently Used Overall & Gender 81% 74% 69% 32%33% 25% 30% 24% 24% 24%24% 24% 23% 21% 15% 18% 13% 3%4%3% 7% 3%4%3% Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Foursquare Pinterest Other I do not use social networks Overall Male Female Which of the following social networks do you currently use? 21
  • 22. Connecting to Social Networks Trends in Multi-Platform Connectivity. Trends in How We Connect to Social Media 94% 97% 2011-2012 46% 37% 2011 2012 16% 7% 7% 4% 3% 3% 4% 2% 3% 2% Computer Mobile Handheld Game Tablet Internet E-Reader Phone Music Player Console Enabled Television Source: Nielsen Social Media Report 2012 22
  • 23. Comparing the Quality and Credibility of Traditional and Social Media #socialelection
  • 24. Comparing the Quality of Social and Traditional Media Overall & Age Overall 24% 39% 31% 6% 18-25 31% 40% 25% 4% 26-35 28% 37% 30% 5% AGE 36-45 32% 36% 25% 7% 46-55 24% 45% 24% 8% 56-55 16% 43% 36% 6% Over 65 18% 39% 39% 4% Higher Quality About the Same Lower Quality Don't know How do you compare the quality of information you find on social media to traditional news channels? (Traditional news channels are defined as Broadcast and 24 Cable TV, radio, newspapers and magazines)
  • 25. Using Social Media to Follow the Election #socialelection
  • 26. Use of Social Networks for Political Activities Overall PERCENTAGE RATING SOCIAL NETWORKS AS SOMEWHAT OR VERY IMPORTANT FOR: 43% Keeping up with political news Debating or discussing political issues with 39% others Finding other people who share your views 38% about important political issues Recruiting people to get involved with 31% political issues that matter to you Overall, how important are social networking sites to you personally when it comes to each of the following? 26
  • 27. Use of Social Networks for Political Activities Age 52% 58% Keeping up with political news 54% 39% 32% 39% 46% 55% Debating or discussing political 45% issues with others 32% 30% 36% 44% Finding other people who share 54% your views about important 46% 33% 18-25 political issues 29% 35% 26-35 42% 36-45 Recruiting people to get 45% 46-55 involved with political issues 37% 24% 56-65 that matter to you 25% 25% Over 65 Overall, how important are social networking sites to you personally when it comes to each of the following? 27
  • 28. Social Media Engagement in the Presidential Election Overall Watched an online video about a candidate or issue 41% Responded to a post about a candidate or issue (including 35% by a comment, retweet or +1) Liked a candidate or political group on Facebook 34% Created a post, tweet or status update about a candidate 25% or issue Encouraged others to vote 20% Indicated you voted 19% Followed a candidate or political group on Twitter 11% Pinned something about a candidate on Pinterest 4% Checked in a location such as a rally or event for a candidate on Foursquare 4% Added a candidate or political group to you circles on Google+ 3% In which of the following social media activities have you engaged in related to the candidates or issues in the presidential election? 28
  • 29. Sharing Political Views on Social Media #socialelection
  • 30. Display Political Affiliation on Social Media Overall & Age OVERALL AGE No 45% 72% 60% 70% Yes 77% 84% 82% No 28% Yes 55% 40% 30% 23% 16% 18% 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 Over 65 Some social media sites allow you to indicate your political affiliation? Do you display your political affiliation on any of your social network profiles? 30
  • 31. Other Political Views in Social Network Overall & Age POLITICAL VIEWS OF OTHERS IN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS 54% 25% 13% 8% Most share my There's an even Most do not Don't know political views mix who do and share my political do not share my views political views How would you describe the political views of the people in your social networks? 31
  • 32. Using Social Media to Engage in Political Discussions Overall & Age OVERALL AGE No 48% 49% 54% Yes 68% 63% 63% 59% 41% No Yes 52% 51% 46% 32% 37% 37% 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 Over 65 In the past 6 months, have you engaged in a political conversation online with other people in your social networks? 32
  • 33. Form of Political Discussions on Social Media Overall & Gender 72% 65% 59% 52% 52% 49% 25% 19% 13% 10% 6% 4% 6% 6% 6% One-on-one Group video Private Public messages Other video chats (ex. chats (ex. on messages such that anyone can on Facebook or Google as Facebook see, such as Google+) Hangouts) messages, tweets and wall Twitter direct posts on messages or Facebook Google chats Overall Male Female [For those who engaged in political discussions] What form did those political conversations take? 33
  • 34. Blocking Connections Because of Their Views Overall & Political Leaning OVERALL POLITICAL LEANING No 81% Yes 78% 85% No 19% Yes 22% 15% Liberal Conservative In the past 12 months, have you defriended, blocked or hidden a connection because of their political views? 34
  • 35. The Influence of Social Media #socialelection
  • 36. Extent Social Networks Increased Knowledge of Candidates Overall, Gender & Age Social Media Increased Knowledge of Candidates and Issues Total 19% 32% 42% 7% GENDER Male 22% 26% 46% 6% Female 17% 37% 38% 7% 18-25 32% 37% 25% 6% 26-35 29% 43% 26% 1% AGE 36-45 30% 33% 31% 6% 46-55 10% 31% 52% 7% 56-65 12% 34% 49% 6% Over 65 19% 16% 53% 12% Significantly/Moderately Somewhat/Slightly No effect Don't know To what extent has the information posted in your online social networks increased your knowledge of the candidates' positions on issues or character? 36
  • 37. Extent Social Networks Increased Knowledge of Candidates Candidate Supported & Political Leaning Social Media Increased Knowledge of Candidates and Issues SUPPORTED CANDIDATE Barack Obama 21% 34% 38% 7% Mitt Romney 21% 29% 46% 4% 19% 37% 38% 6% POLITICAL LEANING Liberal Conservative 20% 28% 45% 7% Significantly/Moderately Somewhat/Slightly No effect Don't know To what extent has the information posted in your online social networks increased your knowledge of the candidates' positions on issues or character? 37
  • 38. Influence of Social Media on Shaping Opinions Overall, Gender & Age Social Media’s Influence on Shaping Total Perceptions of Candidates and Issues Influential Overall 3% 8% 18% 29% 18 - 25 7% 13% 24% 45% 26 - 35 6% 17% 26% 49% 5% 15% 22% 42% AGE 36 - 45 46 - 55 1%6% 12% 19% 56 - 65 2% 3% 13% 19% Over 65 2% 5% 16% 23% Extremely influential Very influential Moderately influential Compared to other sources, how influential has the information on social media been in shaping your opinion of the candidates and issues in the presidential election? 38
  • 39. Social Media’s Influence on Candidate Support Overall & Age Social Media’s Impact on Support of Your Preferred Candidate Overall 30% 67% 3% 18-25 43% 51% 6% 26-35 45% 53% 1% 36-45 38% 60% 3% AGE 46-55 22% 73% 5% 56-65 21% 77% 3% Over 65 26% 71% 3% Increased Support Significantly/Slightly No Change Decreased Support Significantly/Slightly Thinking specifically about your preferred candidate in this election, how has the information posted in your online social networks shaped your perceptions of him? Has it: 39
  • 40. Which Candidate Was More Visible on Social Media Age Overall Barack Mitt Obama Romney 26% 15% Both, about Don't equally know 38% 21% Which of the two main presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, have you seen more information about in your social networks? 40
  • 41. Portrayals of the Candidates on Social Media Overall & Political Leaning PERCEIVED CANDIDATE PORTRAYAL OBAMA Overall 43% 13% 28% 16% ROMNEY Overall 31% 15% 37% 17% OBAMA Liberal 55% 10% 20% 15% POLITICAL LEANING ROMNEY Liberal 24% 16% 43% 17% OBAMA Conservative 34% 16% 36% 15% ROMNEY Conservative 38% 15% 33% 14% Positive Neutral Negative Don't know How would you describe the information you’ve seen about each candidate on social media? Has it been: 41
  • 42. Grading the Candidates Use of Social Media #socialelection
  • 43. The Candidates Are Using Social Media Effectively Overall, Political Leaning & Candidate Supported Overall 37% 44% 19% POLITICAL LEANING Liberal 43% 41% 16% Conservative 33% 46% 21% SUPPORTED CANDIDATE Barack Obama 45% 41% 14% Mitt Romney 33% 44% 23% Agree Neither Agree nor Disagree Disagree To what extent do you agree with this statement: "The presidential candidates are using social media effectively to communicate with people like me.” 43
  • 44. Tone of the Presidential Election #socialelection
  • 45. Overall Tone of the Presidential Election Overall, Gender & Candidate Supported Overall 5% 34% 36% 25% GENDER Male 6% 28% 35% 31% Female 5% 38% 37% 20% SUPPORTED CANDIDTE Barack Obama 7% 38% 35% 20% Mitt Romney 3% 27% 36% 33% Very civil Somewhat civil Somewhat uncivil Very uncivil Overall, how would you describe the tone of the presidential election? This includes TV ads, speeches by the candidates, the political commentary and the debates. Would you 45 say it is:
  • 46. The Tone of the Election on Social Media Overall Comparing the Tone on Social Media to the Overall Tone More civil, 14% About the same, 30% Don't know, 25% Less Civil, 31% Compared to the overall tone of the political discussion, would you say the tone of political discussion on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ is: 46
  • 47. Bias in Social Media #socialelection
  • 48. Comparing Bias in Social Media to Traditional Media Overall & Age Overall 13% 23% 52% 11% 1% 24% 32% 36% 2% 18-25 7% 26-35 12% 23% 49% 15% 1% 36-45 11% 23% 54% 12% 1% AGE 46-55 12% 24% 51% 12% 1% 56-55 10% 23% 55% 10% 1% Over 65 10% 17% 64% 8% A lot more biased More biased About the same Less biased A lot less biased Is the information you see on social media more or less biased than the traditional media? The information on social media is: 48
  • 49. Conclusions & Implications #socialelection
  • 50. Conclusions & Implications It may not be the first place people turn to learn about candidates or issues, but social media is critical forum to share and shape opinions. Social media has closed the credibility gap as a news and information source, driving the imperative to monitor discussion of your brand. The accelerating rise of second- and third-tier networks creates new opportunities for customized content and engagement strategies across different platforms. Build your social networks before you need to use them, for the strength of your connections will determine the amplification of your message. Organizing on social media, younger voters are turning into a powerful voting block on social issues. 50
  • 51. Conclusions & Implications Political orientation is no longer a private affair but social media bumper stickers can never be removed. Your political statements can cost you some of your social media relationships. On social media, great visuals can be worth far more than a thousand words. Social analytics will become as important as polling in political science and advocacy. Are you using social media to gain insight into what energizes your audience, and tailoring your messages accordingly? 51
  • 52. Conclusion A record breaking end to the first social election Election Day was the most retweeted event in history: – 31 million tweets – 327,425 tweets/minute This is the most retweeted post of all time: This is most liked popular photo on Facebook of all time: – 4.4 million likes – 215,000 comments – 580,299 shares 52
  • 53. QUESTIONS? For additional information go to: www.ORIresults.com/socialelectionsurvey #socialelection