Media Preferences: Tech-Savvy Voters may impact Election Campaign Spending


Looking at voters and their media habits with Radio formats, TV shows, Newspapers and what technology used will have an impact at mid-term elections: Democrats, Republicans & Independents’ Media Preferences Not All the Same. With so much at stake in the November midterm elections, politicians are frantic to get their message in front of voters. From Facebook to iPads to smartphones (not to mention TV, radio and newspapers), candidates have more ways than ever to reach potential voters. Understanding how voters are using all forms of media is key to a successful campaign, according to an analysis of the BIGresearch(r) Simultaneous Media Usage(r) Survey (SIMM(r) 16-Jun 2010).

Registered voters are a “tech-savvy” group of people. An overwhelming majority of the voter groups profiled have a desktop computer and a majority of each segment has a wireless laptop. Blackberry phones are more popular than iPhones (which 1 in 10 Democrats and Republicans have). iPods are more common among Democrats and Independents while more Republicans have an iPad.

Do you have a…      Registered     Registered     Registered     Registered      
  Voters  Republicans Democrats Independents
Blackberry  14.3% 15.0% 15.0% 12.5%


77.3% 79.1% 76.0% 80.6%
Droid  4.6% 4.0% 5.4% 4.3%
iPad  2.2% 2.5% 2.1% 1.9%
iPhone  9.7% 10.1% 10.3% 8.1%
iPod  24.3% 22.6% 25.4% 24.8%
Wireless Laptop  56.9% 58.8% 55.5% 56.9%

Democrats are more likely to use social media than Republicans and Independents.

    Registered      Registered      Registered      Registered       
    Voters Republicans Democrats Independents
Regular Usage:               
Facebook   44.3% 43.7% 46.6% 39.5%
Twitter   6.0% 4.9% 7.2% 5.1%
MySpace   6.3% 5.1% 7.6% 5.5%
Hulu   9.0%  7.3% 9.9% 9.3%
Read blogs   11.1% 10.3% 12.0% 10.8%
Post to blogs   4.9% 4.6% 5.1% 4.6%


When it comes to traditional media, more than 9 in 10 within all groups watch TV in an average week and Republicans are more likely to watch Broadcast TV. News Shows top the list of program types for Independents while Movies are more popular among other groups. Country is the favorite radio format for Republicans, Democrats prefer R&B and Independents like Rock. Democrats are more likely to read a magazine or newspaper.

However, the issue of “multitasking” or simultaneously using more than one form of media or engaging in other activities while using media may impact the effectiveness of traditional media.

    Registered   Registered   Registered   Registered
    Voters    Republicans   Democrats   Independents
% who watch    93.6%   95.0%    95.6%   94.7%
in average week                 
Cable v. Broadcast        47.6% v. 31.2%   48.2% v. 32.4%   48.3% v. 30.5%   47.4% v. 30.7%
Top 3 Program   Movies   Movies   Movies   News Shows
Types    News Shows   News Shows    News Shows   Movies
    Dramas   Police Shows   Dramas   Dramas
% who Multitask   72.4%   69.6%   75.1%   70.8%
% who listen    75.1%   76.9%    76.3%   73.8%
in average week                 
Top 3 Radio   Rock    Country   R&B   Rock
Formats    Oldies   Oldies    Oldies   Oldies
    Country   Rock   Rock   Country
% who Multitask   66%   63.8%   67.3%   65.0%
% who read    61.7%   61.8%   64.9%   62.2%
in average week                 
Top 3 Magazines   People   People   People   People
    Time   Reader’s Digest   Time   Time
    Sports Illustrated   Sports Illustrated   Essence   Reader’s Digest
% who Multitask   64.4%   63.8%   67.0%   61.8%
% who read    63.3%   64.0%    66.3%   65.0%
in average week                 
Top 3 Newspapers   Local daily   Local daily   Local daily   Local daily
    Weekly community        Weekly community        Weekly community        Weekly community     
    New York Times   Wall Street Journal   New York Times   Wall Street Journal
% who Multitask   64.4%   63.7%   67.3%   63.4%

(source: BIGresearch consumer intelligence provides analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. The BIGresearch Consumer Intentions and Actions(r) Survey (CIA(tm)) of 8,000+ respondents is conducted monthly and the Simultaneous Media Usage(r) Survey (SIMM(r)) of 15,000+ respondents is conducted semi-annually. More information is available at