Despite the fact that former Vice President Al Gore invented the information superhighway, Market Wire reported Wednesday that more Republicans use the Internet than Democrats (hat tip to Drudge): “Nielsen//NetRatings (NASDAQ: NTRT), a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that 36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, 30.8 percent are Democrats and 17.3 percent are Independents. With campaign Web sites becoming increasingly important to reaching the electorate, candidates need to keep their fingers on the political pulse of the Internet.”
The article continued:
The Web site with the highest concentration of Republicans was RushLimbaugh.com, with an 84.8 percent Republican audience (see Table 1). NewsMax.com and Bill O'Reilly.com ranked No. 2 and 3, with audiences that were 65.4 percent Republican. The Drudge Report and Salt Lake Tribune rounded out the top five Republican sites with 59.0 and 57.9 composition percent.
Among Democrats, the top three sites were BlackAmericaWeb.com, AOL BlackVoices and BET.com with audiences that were 79.9 percent, 64.8 percent and 58.6 percent Democratic, respectively. Salon.com and Village Voice ranked fourth and fifth among Democrats, with 55.3 and 55.2 composition percent.
Why is this the case?
"The fact that the online population is more heavily composed of Republicans than Democrats is principally a function of the Republican party's higher composition within the overall electorate," said Nielsen//NetRatings analyst Ken Cassar. "This is exacerbated by the fact that online penetration continues to be deeper among affluent households, which have historically skewed Republican," he continued.
Hmmm. So, the Republican Party has a "higher composition within the overall electorate?" Haven't pollsters and media members been saying for months that the reason they're oversampling Democrats in their surveys is because there are now more Democrats in the population than Republicans? Regardless, there wasn’t any surprise concerning which newspapers both sides choose as the primary source of information:
Political party members also have distinct tastes in online newspapers. WSJ.com has predominantly Republican readers, at 40.2 percent. Democrats make up 25.8 percent of WSJ.com's readership, closely followed by Independents at 24.3 percent.
The New York Times online is a favorite among Democrats, who make up 52.3 percent of its readership. Independents compose 22.6 percent and Republicans 18.3 percent.
Finally, as I suggested at NewsBusters yesterday, Democrats and Independents are afraid to admit their political leanings:
When respondents were asked about their political leaning, the largest segment, 36.1 percent, identified themselves as "Moderate." The second largest segment, 32.5 percent, identified themselves as "Conservative/Very Conservative," while 19.8 percent of respondents identified themselves as "Liberal/Very Liberal."
Color me unsurprised.