An Analysis of the Relationship Between Political Blog Reading, Online Political Activity, and Voting During the 2008 Presidential Campaign

By Mitzi Lewis.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Internet is increasing access to information and the ability to share information with others. This change is impacting politics. The present study utilized Pew Internet and American Life survey data from the November 2008 presidential election time period to investigate the degree to which political blog reading predicted online political discussion, online political participation, whether or not a person voted, and voting choice, over and above the predication that could be explained by demographic measures of age, education level, gender, income, marital status, race/ethnicity, and region. Political blog reading was positively and statistically significantly related to online political discussion and online political participation. The odds of a political blog reader voting were 1.98 the odds of a nonreader voting, but vote choice was not predicted by reading political blogs. These results are interpreted within the uses and gratifications framework and the understanding that blogs add an interpersonal communication aspect to a mass medium.

Keywords: Politics, Political Participation, Voting, Internet, Blogs, Uses and Gratifications Theory

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.11-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1015.064KB).

Dr. Mitzi Lewis

Assistant Professor, Mass Communication, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX, USA

Dr. Mitzi Lewis (Ph.D., University of North Texas) is a faculty member in the Department of Mass Communication at Midwestern State University. In addition to over a dozen journal and conference publications, her work has been recognized through a Dean’s Award for outstanding paper at the 2007 Southwest Educational Research Association Conference, a three-year fellowship in graduate study from the Association for Institutional Research/U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences-National Center for Education Statistics, and a 2008 National Summer Data Policy Institute on the National Center for Education Statistics and National Science Foundation Databases fellowship. Her current service includes webmaster and teaching co-chair for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Small Programs Interest Group and website and social media consultant to several non-profit and small businesses. Previous service includes chairing institutional assessment and data standards/security committees and reviewing manuscripts for Educational and Psychological Measurement and various conferences.


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