SOURCE: Burst Media

October 09, 2006 09:56 ET

Burst Media Survey: Voters Turn to Internet as Best Place to Learn About Candidates/Issues

Almost One-Quarter of Likely Voters Have Clicked on a Web Political Advertisement

BURLINGTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 9, 2006 -- More voters (26.8%) pick the Internet as the best place to learn about a candidate's position on election issues or to research general election issues, than any other information source including television (20.5%), newspapers (17.8%), radio (6.6%), pamphlets/ brochures/ direct mail (5.4%), and in last place, magazines (2.8%).

Burst Media recently undertook a survey of more than 900 likely voters to get a better idea of how Internet content and advertising has grown in its impact and influence on voters. The findings in this study derived from respondents 18 years and older who will either "definitely" or "probably" vote in this year's election.

Nearly one-quarter (23.7%) of likely voters have clicked on a web advertisement for a political candidate or issue advocacy group. Among "clickers," 43.6% have clicked only on an advocacy group advertisement; 29.9% clicked only on a candidate's advertisement; and 26.45% said they have clicked on a candidate's as well as an advocacy group's ad. Men (27.4%) are more likely than women (20.1%) to have clicked on a candidate's or advocacy group's web ad.

Among likely voters who clicked on a candidate's web advertisement, nearly two-thirds (63.5%) went on to read additional information about the candidate's platform on issues, 47.3% sent an email to the candidate, 39.5% signed-up to receive campaign email alerts, 33.4% watched a video ad, 17.8% made an online donation, and 16.8% signed-up to volunteer for the campaign.

Among voters who clicked on an advocacy group's web advertisement, two-thirds (69.8%) went on to read additional information about the group's positions on campaign issues, 45.6% signed an online petition, 40.0% clicked and sent an automated message to an elected official, 37.1% signed-up to receive email alerts, 28.5% watched a video ad, 19.1% signed-up to become a member, 17.7% made and online donation, and 13.8% signed-up to volunteer for the organization.

"This is a powerful argument for candidates and advocacy groups to use the Internet to communicate their ideas to potential voters. Their websites are important destinations to influences voters and ads are very effective at getting voters more actively involved with candidates and issues," says Chuck Moran, Manager of Market Research for Burst.

Other key findings from the survey:

Two Out of Five Likely Voters Have Visited a Candidate's Website

Two out of five (40.4%) likely voters have visited a candidate's website during the current election season. Men are significantly more likely than women to have visited a candidate's website -- 46.5% versus 34.5%, respectively. Visiting a candidate's website is not the sole domain of the young. In fact, nearly half of men (46.1%) and women (46.8%) 65 years and older have visited a candidate's website.

One-Third Have Visited Advocacy Group's Website

Slightly more than one-third (35.6%) of likely voters have visited an issue advocacy group's website during the current election season. Men are significantly more likely than women to say they have visited an issue advocacy group's website during the current election cycle -- 43.2% versus 28.2%.

Candidate/Advocacy Sites Get Positive Review From Visitors

Two-thirds (65.3%) of likely voters who have visited either a candidate's or advocacy group's websites say the site was informative -- only 7.8% say the site was uninformative.

Likely Voters Will Continue To Visit Candidate and Advocacy Sites

Likely voters were asked whether in the weeks leading-up to the November election they expect to visit either a candidate's or advocacy group's website. Four out of five (78.0%) likely voters who have already visited election related sites expect to do so again in the weeks leading to the November election. Additionally, nearly one-quarter (23.2%) of likely voters who have not yet visited an election related site expect to visit one in the coming weeks.

Visiting the Opposition

Two-thirds (65.4%) of likely voters who visited a candidate's or advocacy group's website visited a web site of a candidate or issue advocacy group they did not or were unsure they'd support. Among respondents who visited a candidate's or group's site they didn't support -- over one-third (40.7%) did so to learn more about the candidate's or organization's position on issues, 34.4% wanted to learn more about the candidate's or group's strategy/plans/tactics, and 16.4% visited to send comments to the group or candidate.

An online media and technology company founded in 1995, Burst Media (www.burstmedia.com) provides products and services for web publishers that help them attract and meet the needs of advertisers. Burst Network sells the value of specialty-content web publishers to brand-focused advertisers. Burst Direct aggregates and optimizes inventory from a larger field of publishers for large scale direct marketers. Through its technology division, Burst markets its ad management solution, AdConductor™, leading content web sites, ad networks, portals, and technology-driven ad providers.

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