Can Social Networking Sites Change the Outcome of the Presidential Election?

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Sixty-two percent of people who say they've looked at a candidate's MySpace or Facebook page are over 30.

The latest GMI Poll, powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), found that voters are increasingly using social networking sites like MySpace to help them decide which presidential candidate to vote for. It's not just youngsters who are checking out the candidates' profiles: 62 percent who say they've looked at a candidate's MySpace or Facebook page are over 30.

Have you checked out any of the presidential candidates' MySpace, Facebook or other social networking pages?

Demographic Information - Age
Total Responses:     Yes Responses:     No Responses:
Total: 2116             Total: 17%             Total: 83%
18-24: 203             18-24: 39%             18-24: 61%
25-34: 459             25-34: 23%             25-34: 77%
35-44: 547             35-44: 14%             35-44: 86%
45-54: 497             45-54: 11%             45-54: 89%
55+: 391                55+: 11%                55+: 89%

GMI interviewed 2130 consumers, representing a broad sample of the U.S. population aged 14 and above. The interviews were conducted online among GMI's permission-based consumer panel using GMI's data collection software.

"Myspace, Facebook, and other social networking sites being used for finding out political information represent an exponential shift in the way people decide to support a particular candidate or political point of view," says Andrew Rasiej, founder of the nonpartisan Web site techPresident.com. "The conversations about politics that used to happen around water coolers, dining room tables, or over the back fence, are now on steroids because social networks amplify and present opinion so effectively."

The poll revealed that 17 percent of consumers have looked at presidential candidates' MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking pages. After visiting a candidate's page, more than half (53 percent) say they are more likely to vote for the candidate.

Are you more likely to vote for a candidate after you've looked at their MySpace page?
Demographic Information - Age
Yes Responses:             No Responses:
Total: 53%                     Total: 47%
18-24: 53%                     18-24: 47%
25-34: 71%                     25-34: 29%
35-44: 51%                     35-44: 49%
45-54: 33%                     45-54: 67%
55+: 36%                         55+: 64%

Sixty-four percent say they felt like they personally knew the candidate better after visiting their social networking page.

After visiting a candidate's page did you feel like you personally knew them better?
Demographic Information - Age
Yes Responses:             No Responses:
Total: 64%                     Total: 36%
18-24: 66%                     18-24: 34%
25-34: 71%                     25-34: 29%
35-44: 62%                     35-44: 38%
45-54: 65%                     45-54: 35%
55+: 45%                         55+: 55%

Additional findings include:

  •     41 percent say MySpace and other social networking sites will affect the presidential race.
  •     51 percent think voter turnout among young adults will increase due to social networking sites like MySpace.

About GMI
GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) is the only provider of integrated solutions for global market intelligence for market research firms and Global 2,000 companies. Solutions include market research software, desktop analysis tools, 24x7x365 service bureau, and one of the world's largest, highly profiled, double opted-in managed panels, providing reach to millions of consumers in more than 200 countries and territories. Founded in 1999 with world headquarters in Seattle, Wash., GMI has operations on five continents. For more information, please visit us online at http://www.gmi-mr.com or email us at info @ gmi-mr.com.

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