Republicans Outnumber Democrats Online

A new Nielsen/NetRatings report finds that Republicans outnumber Democrats online. They found that 36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, 30.8 percent are Democrats and 17.3 percent are Independents.

Here’s the breakdown of the sites with the highest concentrations of each:

Top 5 Sites among Republicans and Democrats (U.S., 18+ Online Population)

Nothing particularly noteworthy here; you’d expect sites aimed at conservatives to attract mostly Republicans and sites targeting African Americans to have mostly Democrats in its audience. More interesting would be the reverse breakdown: Which sites do Republicans and Democrats, respectively, mostly visit?

Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Ken Cassar says, “The fact that the online population is more heavily composed of Republicans than Democrats is principally a function of the Republican party’s higher composition within the overall electorate.” That’s not only not demonstrable through this survey but almost certainly untrue. Indeed, he himself points to the far more logical explanation: “This is exacerbated by the fact that online penetration continues to be deeper among affluent households, which have historically skewed Republican.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. The political leaning numbers sure seem to track other sources (32.5% conservative/very conservative, 52.3% moderate and 19.8% liberal/very liberal).