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Voters Actively Engage with Politics Online, According to New Online Publishers Association Report.

Business Editors

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 4, 2003

Internet Users Also Express Interest in Seeing Political

Advertisements Online

The Online Publishers Association announced today the results of a new study entitled, Public Opinion About Candidate Web Sites and Political Advertisements Online. The study, conducted by the Center for Survey and Research Analysis at the University of Connecticut, found that voters who use the Internet -- regardless of party affiliation -- are highly engaged with politics online.

The research showed that 68% of voters who use the Internet are likely to research a candidate's position online. This finding was relatively consistent across party lines, with a clear majority of Democrats (57%), Republicans (68%) and Independents (59%) very or somewhat likely to do so. Thirty-one percent of all Internet users turned to the Web for information about a representative or candidate during the 2000 presidential campaign, with more than half of those using it for that purpose frequently -- multiple times per month. Given the significant rise in Internet usage since then, that percentage is likely to increase dramatically in the coming election cycle.

The study also found that nearly 30% of Internet users are interested in seeing political advertisements online, a significant finding in view of the relative under-exposure of this type of advertising on the Internet to date. Sixty percent of Internet users say they are likely to notice an ad for a candidate online, while 20% percent would rather watch a candidate's ad online than on television.

"It is clear that voters are increasingly turning to the Web for information about political candidates and campaigns," said Michael Zimbalist, executive director of the Online Publishers Association. "These findings suggest that candidates who use the Web to reach both their core constituents and undecided voters stand to gain a significant advantage in the upcoming political season."

Interestingly, the research showed that visitors to different types of sites show varying degrees of political engagement. News site visitors are more likely to use the Internet for politics than Internet users overall. However, Business site visitors (25%) are most likely to join an online political chat, and Special Interest site visitors (36%) are most likely to sign up to receive candidate information online via e-mail.

Not surprisingly, voters are significantly more likely than non-voters to provide an e-mail address (29% vs. 11%), volunteer for a campaign online (17% vs. 6%), or donate money to a campaign online (14% vs. 2%).

The national telephone survey was conducted with 642 adult Internet users between April 14 and May 28, 2003. The sampling frame included all U.S. telephone exchanges. A random digit dial (RDD) methodology was used to ensure that each possible residential telephone number had an equal probability of selection. The margin of sampling error for the 642 interviews is +/- 3.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. This means that there is less than a one in twenty chance that the findings will deviate more than +/- 3.9 percentage points from the actual population parameters.

The full presentation of results can be found at the Online Publishers Association Web site at

About the Center for Survey and Research Analysis

The Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA) is an academic-based survey research facility at the University of Connecticut (UConn). Its mission is to conduct high quality survey research on important public policy, economic, social and political issues for the purpose of documenting public and elite opinion. CSRA maintains the highest standards in its design, implementation and dissemination of survey research and strictly adheres to the code of conduct and research practices advocated by the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

About the Online Publishers Association

Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association (OPA) is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 100.9 million visitors, or 69% of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, June 2003 combined home/work/university data). For more information about the Online Publishers Association, visit

This press release may be found at
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Date:Sep 4, 2003
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