The Democratic Divide in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


By analyzing Pew Internet and American Life Project's postelection survey, this article examines whether there continues to exist a democratic digital divide in the 2008 U.S. presidential election season. The research focuses on the divide patterns of four different types of political Internet use: information-seeking, communication, mobilization, and use of social networking sites. The research results suggest a higher likelihood for the socioeconomically advantaged to do online political activities. A generational gap is less apparent with regard to communication than information-seeking and mobilization. The sociodemographic pattern of the democratic divide overall resembles that of Internet access divide, but the political divide manifested by education and income is being bridged to some extent among current users of social networking sites. Although younger generations were more likely to use social networking sites for political activities, such use did not significantly raise the probability to cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Democratic divide
  • digital divide
  • e-democracy
  • online political participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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