February 24, 2004

Nielsen//NetRatings reports that Web surfers are more politically active than the general population as the online population reported greater levels of voter registration and political activity than the general population.

Nielsen//NetRatings Plan Political View data revealed that 86 percent of the online audience aged 18+ reported being registered voters (see Table 1). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 70 percent of the U.S. Population was registered to vote during the last presidential elections. During the 2000 presidential elections, only 60 percent of the U.S. population actually cast a ballot. In comparison, the Political View data revealed that 77 percent of the online population reported to have voted in the 2000 presidential election.

“Internet penetration has increased to 75 percent of the U.S. population,” said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. “The Web will play a greater role in this year’s presidential elections as more campaigns include online advertisements and as surfers take to the Internet to research issues and candidates.”

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