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Liberal Democrats more likely than other groups to be politically active on social media

Pew: “Many Americans have been politically active on social media, from encouraging others to take action to using issue-related hashtags. And liberal Democrats were more likely than other ideological and partisan groups to have engaged in these activities, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data collected this summer. Liberal Democrats are especially likely to use social media to mobilize others or find like-minded groups. Some 44% of liberal Democrats say they have used these sites in the past year to encourage others to take action on an issue that was important to them, while a similar share (43%) have taken part in a group that shares their interest in a cause, according to a survey of U.S. adults conducted May 29-June 11, 2018. These shares fall to around a third or fewer among conservative or moderate Democrats and among conservative, moderate or liberal Republicans.  At the time of the survey, liberal Democrats also stood out for recently looking up information about local rallies or protests on social media or using hashtags related to a political or social issue. (A separate survey conducted by the Center this summer found that liberal Democrats were far more likely than other ideological groups to report attending a political rally or event in the past year.) However, similar shares of liberal Democrats, conservative or moderate Democrats and liberal Republican say they have changed their profile picture to show support for a cause within the past year. Overall, two-thirds of liberal Democrats reported doing at least one of these five activities in the past year – compared with half or less of conservative or moderate Democrats (52%), moderate or liberal Republicans (48%) or conservative Republicans (44%).

These differences are present among younger but not older groups. For example, 74% of liberal Democrats ages 18 to 49 have engaged in one or more of these activities. That is double the share of conservative Republicans in the same age range (37%). But among those 50 and older, similar shares of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans use social media in this way (55% vs. 48%). Beyond age, there are other factors – such as educational attainment or race and ethnicity – that may influence whether Americans are politically active on social media. And it is worth noting that while majorities of Republicans and Democrats use social media in one form or another, Democrats are more likely to use multiple platforms…”

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