The Net currently attracts slightly more affluent voters, and males, but the demographics are changing rapidly. The medium is becoming more representative of the population at large.
Not surprisingly to those who frequent online discussions, the Pew study found that Republicans are more likely to get involved in political activism online, with 29% saying they had sent or received e-mail about a candidate, compared to 20% of Democrats who had done so. Republicans were also more likely to participate in online polls (39% to 31%) and more likely to contribute money through candidate websites (6% to 3%).
One of the best examples of mobilizing Republicans online was YRock, the Young Republicans' web site. It won a Golden Dot Award from the Politics Online Conference in the category of effectively attracting public support.
The Democrats didn't do as well. Shortly after assuming the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee in 1999, Joe Andrew pledged to spend $1 million to build a network of one million Democratic activists for campaign 2000. The DNC hasn't disclosed how much it ultimately spent on the project, but press reports at the end of the campaign indicated the Democrats had a database of just 250,000 online activists.
The Republicans also have been quicker to exploit the efficiencies of the Internet. During the campaign, they stopped sending blast faxes to supporters and media contacts and sent e-mail instead. That saved $8,500 a month, "three or four starting salaries for new staffers," observed GOP consultant Max Fose.