Updated August 16, 2008The survey results were announced this week from 20,000 Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and other party followers throughout the U.S. who had their voice heard not from their mouths but using their fingers for text messaging.
To shine the spotlight on one of the most prevalent and expanding mediums in mobile communications, Virgin Mobile conducted one of the first mobile election polls via text message to gauge the pulse of the nation’s youth vote.
As for who voted, about 37 percent of the 20,000 voters listed themselves as a Democrat with 17 percent ringing in as a Republican, 9.5 percent an independent and 11 percent listing themselves as an other political affiliation.
About 57 percent were female with 40 percent male and 54 percent were between the ages of 18 to 25 with 18 percent aged 26 to 34 and 16 percent over the age of 35.
With most of the respondents under the age of 25, 40 percent voted for Barack Obama with 18 percent putting their fingers on Hillary Clinton, 8 percent on John McCain, 5 percent undecided and 2 percent voting for another candidate.
In a relative split decision, 46 percent were willing to receive text messages from candidates as a new way to touch the masses while 40 percent declined the option.
What’s the youth vote’s most critical issue in the 2008 election?
Survey says: 25 percent the economy, 20 percent the war, 6 percent health, 5 percent abortion, 5 percent crime, 4 percent education, 4 percent energy, 3 percent immigration, 2 percent the environment and 2 percent race.
About 51 percent said the vice president running mate is somewhat important to their choice while 18 percent said this factor is extremely important and 15 percent said it is not important at all.
About 57 percent would be willing to vote for their next president by cell phone and 38 percent would not while 55 percent would be more likely to vote if they could via text and 25 percent would not.
While that last statistic is not surprising considering Virgin Mobile’s decidedly youth audience, the survey tells the political machine loud and clear that using pervasive cell phone technology would be an in-demand means to connect with their voters.
The survey even indicates that texting would increase voter turnout, which is certainly music to every candidate’s ears.
“As texting continues to grow into a primary form of personal communication, it’s critical to tap into this channel for insights on the major issues of our day,” said Virgin Mobile chief marketing officer Bob Stohrer in a June 6, 2008 statement.
Stohrer added: “The tremendous response we received from [more than] 20,000 of our customers is a sign that people will make their voices heard when they are reached – through the right channels – with questions that have substance and meaning.”
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