Cable news is now the top regular source for campaign news, with 36% of Americans say they are regularly learning about the candidates or campaign on those networks. The long-term decline in the number of Americans who get campaign news from local and network TV has steepened as a consequence of the fact that fewer people are closely following the campaign compared to four years ago when there were contested primaries in both political parties.
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' 2012 campaign news survey, conducted Jan. 4-8 among 1,507 adults nationwide, also found a sharp decline in the number of Americans who get campaign information from their local newspapers.
In previous campaigns, declining figures for traditional sources were at least partly offset by increasing numbers turning to the internet. But that is not the case in 2012, as the number regularly getting campaign news online has leveled off. This is largely due to a lack of interest in the early 2012 campaign among younger Americans, who have traditionally been the broadest internet news consumers.
Many of the newest internet tools for getting campaign information, including social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, are being used by a relatively limited audience.More details from the full report:
Many of the newest internet tools for getting campaign information, including social networking, are being used by a relatively limited audience. One-in-five Americans (20%) say they regularly or sometimes get campaign information from Facebook and just one-in-twenty (5%) say the same about Twitter. Even among Facebook and Twitter users, most say they hardly ever or never learn about the campaign or candidates through those sources.Note other stories referring to 2012 as "The Twitter Election." Do these data undercut this portrayal? Not completely: although relatively few rank-and-file voters rely on Twitter, it is an increasingly important medium for communications among reporters and campaign activists.