would use traditional techniques of telephone calls, open meetings, registration tables, and door-to-door canvassing to increase voter registration and turnout. This combined Internet/face-to-facestrategy is superior to existing non-Internet strategies because it reduces costs, minimizes timedelays, and improves the delivery of information and coordination of activities. The strategy issuperior to existing Internet strategies because it focuses on face-to-face communication as themethod of mobilizing voters.
The rapid growth of the Internet has raised the question of how the Net will affect campaigningand elections. Some people believe that the Internet will make face-to-face campaigning a thingof the past. These people envision a world in which voters make their voting decisions byconnecting directly to Web sites offered by each of the candidates. We believe that this vision of the Internet and politics is wrong.The election of 1992 demonstrated that all politics is still local, even in the emerging age of electronic democracy. Electronic mail, fax machines, Web sites, cable tv, and talk radio havecertainly altered the political landscape. But it was face-to-face campaigning at the precinct levelthat increased voter turnout in 1992. Voters may be getting their information increasingly fromelectronic sources, but they will continue to register, turnout, and vote for candidates for thesame reasons they always have -- because friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workersask them to register, explain candidates' positions, and remind them to vote.The Internet will not change the importance of face-to-face campaigning in this or any otherelection in the near future. The heart of political campaigns will continue to be the deployment of inexpensive and effective strategies for catalyzing voter registration, participation, and turnout.
DEMOGRAPHICS: MYTH VS. REALITY
The myth about the Internet is that it is dominated by young, white, males who are technical,asocial, and alienated, leaning towards libertarianism in their political views. Nothing could befurther from the truth. Half of all Web users are over the age of 35. Online users are as connectedand concerned for their social relationships as their offline peers, telephoning friends andrelatives as frequently as the population as a whole. Politically, the 12-15 million online users arevirtually identical to non-users in party identification, presidential voting, and congressionalvoting (Times-Mirror):
Dem Ind Rep Bush Clinton PerotOnline Users 25% 43% 32% 37% 44% 18%Not Online 29% 40% 31% 38% 45% 17%
Studies by Arbitron show that there is a diversity of psycho-graphic groups on the Net. A
significant and growing segment of the Net population is older home-owners with children whoare attracted by the opportunity for affiliation and community.Political attitudes among the online population are distinguished by opposition to censorship inpublic libraries by a margin of 10%, acceptance of homosexuality by a margin of 8%, andsupport of government regulation by a margin of 5%. Online users feel equally strongly that