Professor and Director, UK School of Journalism and Media
Here are the preliminary findings of our 2012 US presidential election survey, which we completed in early November 2012, just shortly before election day:
Forty percent of respondents went online to fact-check candidates’ claims, 39 percent looked for candidates’ positions and 36 percent watched videos about candidates or the election.
Fewer than one in 10 respondents used the two presidential candidates’ websites. Among those, visitors to Obama’s website were more active than those to Romney’s website. For example, while 9 percent of respondents said they used Obama’s website to participate in fundraising, only 3 percent said they used Romney’s website to do so.
We also found that smartphones were popular tools to access political information.
Overall, the most important news sources for American voters were television (54 percent) and the Internet (34 percent). Newspapers (6 percent), radio (4 percent) and magazines (1 percent), on the other hand, were not as important news sources.
The findings are based on a representative online survey with 1,060 adults 18 years or older living in the United States. The survey was conducted between Oct. 26 and Nov. 5. The margin of error o f this poll could be plus or minus 3 percentage points. The study was conducted by Professor Lars Willnat, assistant professor Jae Kook Lee and doctoral student Jihyang Choi and was supported by grants from Indiana University and the IU School of Journalism.