Who visits political web sites and why? Results from an online survey of site visitors during the 2002 Dutch general election

  • Boogers M
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Abstract

This article assesses the role of political Web sites in the campaign for the 2002 Dutch parliamentary election. Results are presented based on an online survey held under 18,000 visitors to political Web sites. The article examines the extent to which political Web sites engage people in politics and, in particular, the extent to which party Web sites reach floating voters. The results suggest that political Web sites only to a limited extent contribute to engaging people in politics who have thus far remained uninvolved. Yet, political Web sites are successful in reaching young people, a group usually less politically active, but which uses the Internet more intensively. Use of political Web sites does not lead to a more active engagement in politics. The results of this survey show that, for most people, the primary reason for visiting political Web sites is to find information on the positions of political parties, on party organizations and on the election campaign. Not only party supporters, but also floating and undecided voters seem interested in this information. Introduction

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Authors

  • Marcel Boogers

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