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World Map / Upcoming Elections / US Presidential election 2016 / US Election Updates / Social sites have modest political impact, suggests poll

2016 Presidential Election
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US Election Updates - September 5, 2012

Social sites have modest political impact, suggests poll

Social networking sites have had a modest impact in influencing U.S. users' political views, with the biggest impact seen amongst Democrats, according to survey results released on Tuesday.

The poll conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project comes as Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican contender Mitt Romney turn to Facebook and Twitter to boost their campaigns ahead of the November 6 election.

"For most of those who use the sites, political material is just a small portion of what they post and what they read. And the impact of their use of the sites is modest, at best," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew project.

Thirty-six percent of social networking site users said they were "very important" or "somewhat important" to them in keeping abreast with political news, the survey indicated.

Meanwhile, the sites were "very important" or "somewhat important" to 26 percent of site users in recruiting people to get involved in political issues.

A quarter of the site users said they were "very important" or "somewhat important" for debating the issues.

In each case, Democrats were more likely than Republicans or independents to give importance to the sites.

The telephone survey was carried out between January 20 to February 19 among 1,407 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.