More people may use Google to make their political choices

Oct 17, 2012

A new survey suggests more young people are taking to Google internet searches to help them make up their minds before they cast a vote.

The business research was done by online reputation firm BrandYourself and looked at several ways people are using web search tools, including as a means for researching politics.

The survey [PDF] found young people are using the web more than their parents or grandparents.

Here are some those findings:

  • 31 percent of adults have looked up a candidate
  • 38 percent of younger adults (18-35 year olds) did so
  • 48 percent of students use Google

The survey polled 2570 adults and was conducted by Harris Interactive.

BrandYourself's research goes on to suggest the candidate being searched is more likely to get the online searcher's vote.

But Syracuse University political scientist Bob McClure isn't quite so sold on those conclusions. Television ads are still the driving force of getting out a political message, he contends.

And on those young folks: the fact that they're using Google to learn about candidates shouldn't imply that they're always doing their election homework, he says.

And there's still the challenge of getting young people to the polls.

"...moreover, after they search, after they get this information, I still believe they’ll be less likely to vote than your grandmother," McClure says.