Post-Election Voter Engagement

  • December 30, 2008
  • By Aaron Smith

Voters expect that the level of public engagement they experienced with Barack Obama during the campaign, much of it occurring online, will continue into the early period of his new administration. A majority of Obama voters expect to carry on efforts to support his policies and try to persuade others to back his initiatives in the coming year; a substantial number expect to hear directly from Obama and his team; and a notable cohort say they have followed the transition online.

These are the key findings of a new survey about public interest in the presidential transition process and voters' intentions to carry on the national conversation about the incoming administration:

  • 62% of Obama voters expect that they will ask others to support the policies of the new administration over the next year. Among Obama voters who were engaged online during the campaign, 25% expect to support the administration's agenda by reaching out to others online.
  • 46% of Obama voters and 33% of McCain voters expect to hear directly from their candidate or party leaders over the next year. Fully 51% of online Obama supporters expect some kind of ongoing communication from the new administration—34% of Obama-supporting email users expect email communication, 37% of social network site users expect SNS updates, and 11% of phone texters expect to receive text messages from the new administration.  
  • 27% of wired Obama voters have gone online to learn about or get involved with the presidential transition process. Nine percent of online McCain voters have visited websites hoping to rebuild the GOP or elect conservative candidates in the future.

Read the full report Post-Election Voter Engagement on the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.