Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Voters Expect Next President to be as Internet Savvy as They Are, Survey Finds

Internet #1 Source of Candidate Info for Voters, According to Zogby/Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee Survey
Voters sent a clear message to the presidential campaigns, make the technology a top policy priority.
44.7 percent expect the next President to be Internet savvy, according to a
new poll conducted by Zogby International on behalf of the Congressional
Internet Caucus Advisory Committee in advance of its annual policy conference
in Washington. The Zogby poll underscores how mainstream the Internet has
become to Americans.

Not surprisingly, the Internet has dethroned radio and television as the
primary source of candidate information for an increasingly Internet savvy
electorate. 47.7 percent of those polled cited the Internet as the primary
source of their knowledge of the presidential candidates. Only 31 percent and
13 percent cited television and radio respectively as the primary source. The
poll also revealed that the next president should prioritize energy technology
policy foremost with privacy and security policy next.

Despite the increasing pro-technology positions voters overwhelmingly
rejected Internet voting, citing concerns over cyber security voting fraud.

"The Internet has become the ultimate tool for democracy," said Tim
Lordan, executive director. "The Internet as 'fundraiser' has been understood
for some time, but the displacement of television and radio as top sources of
voter information is a sea change that is destined to advantage the most
Internet savvy candidate of the pack."

The survey was released in advance of the Congressional Internet Caucus
Advisory Committee annual State of the Net policy conference in Washington, DC
on Jan. 30. Representatives from the presidential candidates expected to
discuss Internet policy on the opening panel called POTUS 2.0 '09.
Among the poll results:

-- Concerns over voter fraud doomed prospects for Internet voting with
67.2 percent saying it was a bad idea.
-- While Energy Technology (37.7 percent) and Privacy/Security (28.9
percent) placed first and second in issues to be addressed by the next
president, Health IT surprisingly never rose above third in priority
among any demographic including seniors. Digital divide remained a
priority among those polled, yet placed only fourth.

The poll sheds light on the enigmatic state of privacy expectations among
Americans. Americans uniformly share a visceral privacy concern when their
geo-location (GPS) data is exposed (49.4 percent). Concerns over other
exposures were overall much lower: 11.1 percent if someone posted a picture
of them in a swimsuit; 10.7 percent if someone posted a picture of them
visibly drunk; 9.2 percent if someone posted a video of them simply talking
with their friends. The fact that there was a negligible difference in privacy
concerns between the posting of a drunken photo and the posting of a seemingly
benign video of them speaking with their friends indicates that video by its
nature elicits a more visceral privacy concern than mere photos, regardless of
the substance.

Among the age groups polled, 18-24 year-olds and those over 70 expressed
the most privacy concern over the posting of a drunken photo. Remarkably,
contrasted with the drunken photo, 25-34 year-olds were more concerned about
the posting of a video of them speaking with their friends while 35-54 year-
olds were more concerned with the posting of them in a swimsuit.

Despite the perception of being tech savvy, fewer 18-24 year-olds believed
they could effectively do their job as well from home than any other age group
except seniors over 70. Interestingly, more women (30.2%) believed they could
always do their job as well from home than did their male counterparts

In yet another reproach of Britney Spears behavior, 83.3 percent of those
polled condemned SMS or email as an acceptable method to break off a romance.

The Zogby poll surveyed 3,585 adults and was conducted from 1/21-1/23. It
has a margin of error of +/- 1.7 percent. Conference sponsor 463
Communications helped conceive and develop the survey.

Another survey expects the next President to fix the economy.

Americans are expecting the next president to provide economic relief,
but a distinguished University of Mississippi economics
professor says
that the experience with tax-rebate initiatives indicate that most Americans
will save their tax rebates
or use them to pay bills.

William F. Shughart II believes that Americans are paying more for
food, fuel, homes and health care. “The market has to be purged of some
of the players who have made bad business decisions,” he said.

“The pain has to come at some point, and, once the pain clears, we can get
back to business. But keeping bankrupt
firms and banks
on life support is not going to get it,” he adds. Ken Cyree, interim
dean of the School of Business Administration and associate professor
of finance, agrees. “I am not suggesting that things are rosy, but I
would argue that it’s not like someone said on the news the other day,
‘the worst recession since the ’70s,” he said. “No president can do
much of anything about monetary policy. He can cajole Ben Bernanke
(chairman of the Federal Reserve), but the Fed is fairly independent of
politics, so whatever policy is being pursued under George Bush will
probably continue under the next president,” he adds.
What the next president does regarding President Bush’s tax cuts will impact
taxpayers’ pocketbooks, Shughart said.


SOURCE: Internet Education Foundation
Danielle Yates, Internet Education Foundation,

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