Most-Visited Sites Contrast Sharply
On the eve of nationwide elections, with the GOP "glum" (according to the New York Times) about looming Congressional losses, a recent Nielsen/Net Ratings report suggests that if ballots were cast online, Republicans would have a good chance of continuing to control both Congressional houses. Results of Nielsen's by-party study of Internet use show that "36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, 30.8 percent are Democrats and 17.3 percent are Independents."
"The Web site with the highest concentration of Republicans was RushLimbaugh.com, with an 84.8 percent Republican audience . . . . NewsMax.com and Bill O’Reilly.com ranked No. 2 and 3, with audiences that were 65.4 percent Republican. The Drudge Report and Salt Lake Tribune rounded out the top five Republican sites with 59.0 and 57.9 composition percent.
"Among Democrats, the top three sites were BlackAmericaWeb.com, AOL BlackVoices and BET.com with audiences that were 79.9 percent, 64.8 percent and 58.6 percent Democratic, respectively. Salon.com and Village Voice ranked fourth and fifth among Democrats, with 55.3 and 55.2 composition percent.
Online newspaper use by party should surprise no one: "WSJ.com has predominantly Republican readers, at 40.2 percent. Democrats make up 25.8 percent of WSJ.com’s readership, closely followed by Independents at 24.3 percent.
"The New York Times online is a favorite among Democrats, who make up 52.3 percent of its readership. Independents compose 22.6 percent and Republicans 18.3 percent."
The largest segment of respondents identified themselves as "Moderate," 36.1%, while 32.5% self-identified as "Conservative/Very Conservative," and only 19.8% chose "Liberal/Very Liberal" for themselves.
African-American respondents "were over twice as likely to be Democratic as the average Web user. Asians were 36 percent more likely than the average Web user to be Democratic, and Hispanics were 28 percent more likely." But whites were only "slightly more likely to be Republican."
Considered only by age or gender, respondents favored neither party.