Voters Say Some Web Formats Don’t Work, but Expect Candidates to Use Anyway

ClickZ News - Politics & AdvocacyWhat’s the best way for political campaigns to attract voters online? It may seem like a no-brainer at this point, but the official campaign Web site beat out other online formats and platforms as the best way for candidates to get voters’ attention online, according to a just-released E-Voter Institute study.

Compared to Web ads, social sites, viral video and Twitter, the campaign site was deemed the most appealing online tool, says the “Persuading and Motivating Voters: What Will It Take in 2010?” report, published today.

The official site was considered the best ways to get attention by 54 percent of ultra liberals, 59 percent of somewhat liberals, moderates, and somewhat conservatives (referred to as moderates from here on out), and 58 percent of dyed-in-the-wool conservatives. Respondents could choose more than option.

That’s pretty close to traditional platforms of TV/cable advertising and debates. TV ads were considered attention-grabbing by 59 percent of liberals, 65 percent of moderates, and 63 percent of conservatives. Debates: 56 percent, 59 percent, 60 percent, respectively.

Here’s the breakdown for other online formats:
Social networking sites – L: 41 percent M: 28 percent C: 19 percent
Online ads – L: 39 percent M: 34 percent C: 28 percent
Viral video about a candidate – L: 28 percent M: 14 percent C: 13 percent
Twitter – L: 25 percent M: 17 percent C: 9 percent

The disparity between the “very liberals” and the “very conservatives” on most of these formats is striking. Even in the cases of social sites, viral video, and Twitter, moderates seem far less impressed by these formats than liberals.

Although a significant portion of survey respondents didn’t think some online formats would get their attention, many still expected the candidates to use them. Eighty-five percent said they expect candidates to have Web sites, 60 percent expect online ads, 56 percent expect Web video on other sites, 49 percent expect social sites, and 42 percent expect Twitter.

Check out the full report, including methodology, here.

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