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How Did Americans Use Their Phones in the 2010 Midterm Election? [STATS]


Politics, like just about everything else, is going mobile. More than a quarter of American adults used their cellphones to learn about or participate in the 2010 U.S. midterm election, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

The survey, which polled 2,257 adults from November 3 to November 24, found that the people who use their phones for politics are most often between the ages of 18 and 29 and more likely to own high-tech electronics and use social networking sites than other voters. The percentage of Republican and Democratic voters in this group is similar to that of the general population.

The survey counted communicating about voting, sharing and reading election news, and contributing money to campaigns as political participation. Fourteen percent of respondents said that they used their cellphones to tell others that they had voted; 6% said they used them to let others know about conditions at local voting stations; 10% sent text messages about the election; 3% used their cells to shoot and share photos or videos related to the election; 12% kept up with election news using their phones; and 4% used their mobiles to monitor results.

Only 1% used their mobile devices to either contribute money by text message or to download an app that provided updates from a candidate or group about election news, respectively.

Interestingly, 21% of those who used their cellphones to learn about or participate in the election said that they didn’t vote, although that figure is substantially less than the national average of 38%.

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