A new survey released Thursday reveals where most Latinos are turning to get their political newsand its not the morning paper or the evening news.
The survey conducted by the Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) at Florida Atlantic University shows most Latinos are turning to the internet to get their political news, which is important information for politicians ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
But as the survey points out, theres also a digital divide in the use of the Internet for news and politics among Latinos. For example, 84 percent of younger Latinos between the ages of 18-34 use social media for their news. Thats a sharp contrast to the use of social media among older Latinos. The survey shows 48 percent of Latinos 55 and over do not use social media for any of their news.
Social media will have a huge impact on elections since it is an opportunity to be in touch with large number of voters quickly, constantly and at a low cost, said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of BEPI.
The survey also shows that 52 percent of Hispanics with a college degree are more likely to use the internet for their news source, compared with 32 percent of Hispanics overall. Meanwhile, 68 percent of the highest earning Latinos surveyedthose making $75,000 or more a yearuse the internet to get their political news at least once per day.
In addition, the survey also found that males are more than twice as likely as females (34 percent to 14 percent) to seek out opinions that conform to their ideology. Meanwhile, 26 percent of Latinos 55 and over use the internet to seek out opinions that are contrary to their own, compared with 5 percent of Latinos ages 18-34 and 11 percent of Latinos ages 35-54.
Anyone that wants to reach Hispanics, especially the younger generation, needs to recognize the growing role that the Internet and social media are playing, said Kevin Wagner, associate professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University.