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Most U.S. adults went online for Obama-McCain political info last election

April 17, 2009 | 10:10 am

Obama-laptop More Americans plugged into the Internet during the election campaign last year than ever before, with 55% of voting-age citizens logging on for their political coverage, according to a Pew Research Center study.

The much-touted prowess of President Obama's campaign to use the Internet and social media to drive support and donations certainly put an exclamation point on the Web's new-found importance in the political process.

It should come as little surprise then that Barack Obama supporters were more plugged-in than those in the John McCain camp.

Obama supporters were more actively sharing political content around the Web, as is the nature of social media.

Twice as many Obama supporters signed up to receive automatic updates, according to a telephone survey of 2,254 American adults from Nov. 20 to Dec. 4, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4%. That could be attributed to his Twitter and mobile announcements -- like when he broadcast his choice for VP running mate, Joe Biden, via text message.

Though truth be told, as the Ticket reported back then, many got the news elsewhere before their text message arrived.

Online video was a major draw leading up to the election. The poll found that 45% of wired Americans watched Web video about politics or the election. The Obama administration is capitalizing on the ubiquity of Internet video with its White House YouTube channel.

Even still, Internet adoption only appears to be accelerating. Take, for example, Sen. McCain, who admitted during the election cycle to being a computer illiterate. Now, he's a Twitter fiend, sending a handful of updates per day to more than 428,000 followers.

Heck, even Larry King, maybe the oldest guy on television, is getting caught up in the Twitter craze.

-- Mark Milian

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