BIGresearch to Clinton, Obama: New Media an Alternative to High-Priced TV Ads

March 19, 2008

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Members of all US political parties are using new media in large numbers, making it a smart, cost-effective alternative to expensive television ads for the campaigns of the still-battling Democratic Presidential candidates, according to BIGresearch.

The top three new media used most among Democrats, Republicans and Independents are cell phones, videogames and instant messaging, a recent analysis of BIGresearch’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM 11) of 15,727 participants finds.


Libertarians, for whom IM is not in the top 3, nevertheless have higher-than-average use of new media. For example, 37.6% of Libertarians say they regularly or occasionally blog, whereas 26.9% of Democrats, 25.7% of Independents and 22.9% of Republicans say they do so.

“New media offers candidates with an alternative or complement to their traditional media spending,” said Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch. “By actually listening to potential voters and using all media, not just traditional, candidates can build an ad strategy that is more likely to influence votes.”


  • Potential voters spend more time watching Cable than Broadcast TV, according to the BIGresearch analysis:
    • 45.8% of Republicans, 45.6% of Democrats, 57.6% of Libertarians and 46% of Independents say they spend more time watching cable stations than traditional broadcast networks.
    • Conversely, 36.7% of Republicans, 34.2% of Democrats, 37.5% of Libertarians and 34% of Independents say they watch traditional broadcasts more.
    • The remaining say they watch equal amounts of cable and network broadcasts: Republicans (17.6%), Democrats (20.2%), Libertarians (4.9%) and Independents (20%).


  • The study also identified the cable networks and radio formats of choice by political party:
    • Discovery Channel and The History Channel made their way into the top five for all groups.
    • Fox News was #3 on the list for Republicans; however, no other cable news channel made the top five for any of the other parties.
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