Democrats are more likely than Republicans to express themselves politically online, according to a joint Rutgers University/Fairleigh Dickinson poll released this morning.
Nearly all New Jerseyans have access to technology: 92% have desktop or laptop computers, 91% have smartphones, and 76% have a tablet or portable device. 99% of New Jersey adults said they have access to the Internet.
The poll shows a slight partisan divide on smartphones: 96% of Democrats have them, while the Republican percentage is 85%. Nearly nine of ten (89%) of independents have smartphones.
“There is no digital divide, and the Internet, with all of its limitations and possibilities, is available to almost everyone,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of government at Fairleigh Dickinson University and director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll.
Most New Jerseyans (55%) don’t use the Internet to express their views on political or community issues. 6% say they do that every day, and an additional 7% do so a few times a week. 9% express their views a few times a month, 5% do that once a month, and 18% voice their opinions less than once a month.
Nearly half of the Democrats in New Jersey (49%) say they never express their views online, while the number for Republicans in 63%.
“There are some big implications for access to technology,” Jenkins said. “Internet access provides opportunities for staying connected and informed about what’s going on in your community and world around you.”
There are some demographic differences when it comes to access to technology in New Jersey.
Smartphones are slightly less common among white New Jerseyans (89%) than blacks (92%), Hispanics (96%), or residents of another race or ethnicity (98%). New Jerseyans over the age of 65 are less likely to own a smartphone (74%).
“The fact that we don’t see big disparities across race, education, and the other usual suspects that often divide us into the haves and have-nots is a good thing,” said Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Nevertheless, technological divides may persistent elsewhere that are not visible in these results – such as when it comes to type and speed of internet access, as well as device quality.”Tech - Press Release - Eagleton-FDU Poll - 6.13.19 - FINAL PDF