Top news and media websites for key voter segments

September 25, 2012 by Experian Marketing Services

With the Democratic and Republican conventions behind us – the 2012 race to the White House is in high speed with pundits talking up the next big political viewing experience – the presidential debates. There is some ‘debate’ as to whether or not these match-ups are in fact game changers in tight races. Even so, the debates will draw huge audiences and with an election that is very much digital – consumers are gathering their news about these events from various online sources whether it is news sites or social media.

Potential voters are highly engaged online during this election.  Statistics show that an ever-increasing amount of campaign spending is going towards online advertising and social media – where campaigns are targeting specific audiences for their messages.   Political advertisers are realizing what other marketers have already embraced, that it is critical to target advertising messages and dollars online to reach the high value consumers that you want to reach.

Experian Hitwise took a look at where to reach party loyals as well as key swing voters online. The segments highlighted in this post include the Super Democrats and Ultra Conservatives segments, which represent the most party loyal voters for Democrats and Republicans, respectively. And one of the important swing voter segments during this election cycle, Green Traditionalists.

The segments come from the Experian Simmons PoliticalPersonas consumer segmentation system, which classifies U.S. adults into one of 10 unique segments based on the individual’s political outlook and party ID as well as their attitudes and opinions towards key topics.
Source: Experian Simmons
We looked at each of the segments and their share of visits to various print, broadcast news media and political websites to see how they differ. The rankings below are based on share of visits for each segment and compared to the online population.

For the Super Democrats group USA Today captured the largest share of visits in the print news and media category, followed by The New York Times. When comparing this segment’s news consumption to the online population they have a stronger propensity to visit local news sites in Northern California, Seattle and New York centric publications.

In the broadcast news & media category, CNN.com received the largest share of visits from the Super Democrats segment but interestingly for a more liberal group, Fox News is second along with other various Fox News sites which may reflect that they are going across various properties to gather different perspectives on the news.

Source: Hitwise AudienceView

Within the print news and media category, Ultra Conservatives had some similarities to Super Democrats in terms of sites that captured the largest shares like USA Today and The New York Times.  When comparing to the online population, Ultra Conservatives are less likely to be reading The New York Times and more likely to read The Wall Street Journal and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Other sites like Taste of Home, Reader’s Digest and Galveston County Daily News may be smaller sites but are effectively capturing a high share of visits from this group.

Source: Hitwise AudienceView

In the broadcast news & media category, not surprisingly Fox News captured the largest share of visits from this segment and CNN.com as the number two site. Ultra Conservatives are far more likely to visit sites across the Fox News properties when compared to the online population.

Source: Hitwise AudienceView

For the key independent voter segment Green Traditionalists, the political websites they are more likely to visit is interesting to see where they are getting news about the candidates and issues. The highest share of visits is to the NBC election news site and they are far more likely to monitor election coverage here than the online population. Environment issues are a driving force for this group and that is reflected in the appearance of Governor Cuomo’s site as one that they are more likely to visit during the four weeks ending August 11. Cumo has been in the news recently related to the passing an anti-fracking bill and this group seems to have particular interest in the health and environmental impacts of processes like this. Green Traditionalists are clearly independent as they do visit websites on both sides of the spectrum with right leaning sites as well as some of the more liberal sites with environmental focus such as Care2Petition.
Source: Hitwise AudienceView

Publishers and campaign advertisers can drive strategic planning and highly targeted ad spend based on these insights.

View our webcast for more on insights on the PoliticalPersonas. For more political trends updated weekly – check out our Trend Center .