This year’s election cycle might be the most digital and social media-dominated one in the history of presidential elections. But when we want to follow debates, we still rely on the good old box in the living room — our TV.
That’s the main takeaway of a newly-released report by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, which found out that 85% of the people who watched the first round of Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney did so using only their TV.
A little bit more than a tenth of viewers — 11% — followed it on “dual screen” (both TV and a computer or mobile device), while only 3% followed it exclusively on a digital device.
Unsurprisingly, Americans who are between the ages of 18 and 39 tended to use digital devices while watching the debate more than the average: 22% of them used both.
Another interesting finding is that there wasn’t much difference across party lines — among Republicans, 9% went dual screen, as opposed to 11% of Democrats. Independents were the group that used two screens the most, at 13%.
Some Americans who used their digital devices while watching the debate on TV used them to share their thoughts. A third of those watchers tweeted, posted on Facebook or used other social media while listening to the candidates’ remarks.
The survey was based on phone interviews with 1,006 Americans following the first presidential debate.
Are you surprised by these results? How did you watch the presidential debate? Did you use your laptop, phone or tablet while watching it on TV? Tell us in the comments.