More Americans turn to smartphones for election news updates

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The number of Americans who use their smartphones to keep tabs on political news or campaign coverage has increased twofold compared to the most recent midterm election, according to a new study conducted by The Pew Research Center.

The study showed that around 28 per cent of registered voters used their mobile phones to follow election news this year, up from 2010’s 13 per cent.

Registered voters from both parties are equally expected to use their cell phones to track election news, with 29 per cent of Democrats and 25 per cent of Republicans indicating that they did so during this campaign season.

Although voters of all ages are expected to use their mobile phones for political news and campaign coverage, the increase has been more evident among voters aged between 30 and 49. Around 40 per cent of registered voters from this age group used their mobile phones to follow election coverage this year, which marks an increase over the 15 per cent previously noted.

The study found that these “mobile election news consumers” are more active compared to other Americans when it comes specific campaign activities.

In fact, they are more likely to encourage people they know to support or vote for a certain candidate, with 58 per cent reporting that they have done so and 11 per cent indicating that they have attended a campaign event.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans following political figures or candidates on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook soared to 16 per cent from just 6 per cent in 2010.

The study, which was conducted from 15-20 October, polled 2,003 adults, including 1,494 registered voters.


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