Political Blog Readers Skew Older

Posted on March 10, 2008

There are tons of political blogs on the Internet but not everyone is reading them according to a new study from Harris Interactive. Half of the Americans (56%) surveyed said they never read blogs that discuss politics. About one-quarter (23%) say that they read them several times a year and just 22% of Americans read political blogs regularly (several times a month or more).

One interesting part of the study is that political blog readers tend to be older than the typical blog reader - past blog studies have shown blogs are read more by young people. This study found that a higher percentage of baby boomers and seniors read political blogs than in the younger demographics. This is somewhat logical because many people don't become interested until politics they are older.
While it could be said that blogs are just a younger person's folly, in our study this is not the case. Just one in ten (19%) Echo Boomers (those aged 18-31) regularly read a political blog and only 17 percent of Gen Xers (those aged 32-43) say the same. Matures (those aged 63 and older) are actually the generation most likely to be political blog readers as just over one-quarter (26%) say they regularly do so followed by 23 percent of Baby Boomers (those aged 44-62). Also, one hears of the rabid blogs on both sides of the political aisle, but just 22 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats regularly read blogs. Independents are the ones slightly more likely to read these, as just over one-quarter (26%) say they regularly read political blogs.

Looking at those who regularly do read political blogs, over half (54%) read one or two at least once a week with an additional 22 percent reading 3-4 at least once a week. And, while they may read these, they do not comment on them. Over two-thirds (69%) of those who regularly read blogs did not comment on one in the previous week. Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to comment. One-third of Republicans (34%) commented in the previous week compared to 28 percent of Democrats.
Here is a chart showing this age group breakdown of political blog readership.

Political Blog Readership Chart from Harris Interactive