SOURCE: Nielsen//NetRatings

November 01, 2006 09:00 ET

Republicans Outnumber Democrats Online, According to Nielsen//NetRatings

"Moderate" Is the Most Common Political Leaning Among Web Users

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 1, 2006 -- 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 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.

"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.

Table 1: Top 5 Sites among Republicans and Democrats (U.S., 18+ Online Population)

                     Site                                    Site
                     Composition -                           Composition -
Site                 Republican       Site                   Democratic
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
RushLimbaugh.com              84.8    BlackAmericaWeb.com             79.9
NewsMax.com                   65.4    AOL BlackVoices                 64.8
Bill O'Reilly.com             65.4    BET.com                         58.6
Drudge Report                 59.0    Salon.com                       55.3
Salt Lake Tribune             57.9    Village Voice                   55.2
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings @Plan, Fall 2006 Release

Newspaper of Choice

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.

Political Leaning

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."

Demographics

Perhaps contrary to assumptions about who's a Democrat and who's a Republican, neither party seemed to favor a particular gender or age group. Among racial groups, African Americans skewed Democratic; with a composition index of 231, they were over twice as likely to be Democratic as the average Web user. Asians were 36 percent more likely than the average Web user to be Democratic, and Hispanics were 28 percent more likely. White people were slightly more likely to be Republican.

About Nielsen//NetRatings

NetRatings, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRT) delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions, marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com.

Editor's Note: Please source all data to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Contact Information

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    Leilani Han
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