Political participation in the internet age
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Much as there was a seismic shift in how people obtained political information once regulations surrounding political parties were enacted in the 1960s and the television news media came to dominate the landscape, the expansion of the Internet over the past 20 years has the potential to again change the nature of mass communication, and thus the inclination of voters to participate in elections. I have used data from the 2008-2009 American National Election Studies (ANES) Time Series survey to ask whether access to the Internet influences the likelihood of voting or political donation among American citizens. Results show that having access to the Internet did not make a person more likely to vote, but did increase the likelihood of a person donating money to a campaign. Policy implications include (but are not limited to) impacting campaign fundraising strategies, proposals for reversing the declining trends of electoral participation among voters, and policies surrounding the securing, regulating, and expansion of the Internet.
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