A majority of President-elect Barack Obama's voters expect to carry on online efforts to support his policies and try to persuade others to back his initiatives in 2009 while a substantial number expect to hear directly from Obama and his team through e-mail, text messaging and social media.media.
One of the great unknowns heading into Barack Obama's presidency is the
influence of the online legions that helped propel him into office. As
president, will Obama be able to draw on the same forces he managed to mobilize
into campaign engagement and activism through e-mail, text messaging and social
media? After all, what works in an election doesn't necessarily translate to
running a country.
According to a new survey by the Pew
for the People & the Press, the answer is yes. Among surveyed online
political users who voted for the Obama, 68 percent said they expect to press
others to support the new administration's policies in the coming year. Not
surprisingly, fully 25 percent of these engaged online activists said they will
likely use the Internet to encourage others to support Obama's policy agenda in
the year ahead.
Obama's online supporters also expect some level of communication with the
White House, with more than half surveyed (51 percent) expecting to have the
same type of ongoing communications with Obama that they did during the
campaign. Surveyed Obama supporters who use e-mail and social networking sites expect
continued communication with the administration through these channels, and
they expect the communications to occur with greater frequency than mail or
"This year's presidential campaign witnessed unprecedented levels of
online engagement in the political process as millions of ordinary citizens
used the Internet to keep informed about politics, donate money, share their
views, join communities built around shared interests or objectives, and
mobilize others in support of their candidate," Pew said in its report.
"In light of this level of online involvement during the election itself,
more questions arise about the ability of the Obama team to translate its
successful Internet political operations into new levels of engagement and
activism when Obama assumes the presidency."