Election Campaigns on the Internet: How are Voters Affected?

Election Campaigns on the Internet: How are Voters Affected?

Jens Hoff (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jep.2010102202
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Abstract

This article investigates whether political use of the Internet affects users politically. Using a combination of log- and survey data from a study of Internet use during the Danish 2007 parliamentary election, a number of hypotheses are tested. The investigation finds that 30% of the survey respondents say they are influenced politically by their Internet use. However, they are only modestly influenced when it comes to “core values” such as party choice or important political issues, while respondents are affected more in terms of general political opinions and opinions on different candidates. Political interest is found to act as an important determinant for political activity on the Internet, and certain types of uses are found to have more profound political effects than others. Somewhat paradoxically—but in line with Zaller (1992) — those indicating they are “little” or “somewhat” interested in politics are found to be the most politically affected.
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Data Collection

The data has been collected during the Danish parliamentary elections in November 2007. They were a collaborative effort involving The Association of Danish Internet Media (FDIM)1 , Associate Professor Lisbeth Klastrup (IT-University, Copenhagen), Associate Professor Jakob Linaa Jensen (Department of Information and Media Science, Aarhus University) and the author.

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