Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

5-2018

Advisor

Whitney Court, Political Science

Abstract

Over the years Internet use has become ingrained in Americans’ daily lives. In turn, those running for office have begun to utilize the Internet for campaigning at all levels of government. How did Internet use in the 2012 and 2016 elections impact political participation? This honors thesis will examine how Internet use affects six different modes of political participation, and compare it to the findings from Bimber and Copeland’s (2013) original study that examined the 12 years prior. In addition, I will also analyze participation in protest marches and signing petitions as two additional acts of political participation. American National Election Study data from the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections concerning Internet use and traditional political participation will be used. My findings support the original authors’ expectation that while those who use Internet are more likely to participate than those who do not, it is not a consistent relationship across all of the different acts of political participation, nor is it consistent over time; however, there are a few political acts such as persuading others and doing campaign work that show a possible trend over time for a positive relationship.

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