Do Americans think that by using the internet, people like them will have more political power? Does political orientation affect those views?
In the 2016 election year, the Digital Future Survey asked questions about the role of the internet in the political process. The survey found that overall, 44% of respondents to the Digital Future Survey in 2016 agreed or strongly agreed that by using the internet, people like them can have more political power.
The percentage of people agreeing with this notion did vary by political orientation, especially when comparing conservatives with liberals.
The most skeptical were those who called themselves very conservative: 25% of these respondents strongly disagreed that using the internet could give people more political power. They were joined in this position by 16% of those who identified themselves as somewhat conservative.
Those identifying as liberal were much less likely to strongly disagree with the idea of the internet yielding political power. Only 11% of those identifying as very liberal and 8% of the somewhat liberal strongly disagreed that by using the internet, people like them can have more political power.
Similarly, when we flip this around, liberals are more likely to agree with the statement. Fifty-six percent of the very liberal and 58% of the somewhat liberal agreed or strongly agreed that people like them could exercise more political power by using the internet. This compares with only 40% of the very conservative and 41% of the somewhat conservative who agreed or strongly agreed.
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April 10, 2018