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Republicans beat Democrats in race to get wired

More Republicans fire up their computers and log on to the Web than Democrats do, according to a new study.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen
2 min read
The so-called digital divide can be spliced in yet another way: along political party lines.

More Republicans fire up their computers and log on to the Web than Democrats do, according to a new study from New York-based research firm Media Metrix. About 37 percent of registered Republicans use the Internet, while only 28 percent of registered Democrats are wired to the Web. The remaining group either wasn't registered or was in another political party.

Not surprisingly, when Democrats and Republicans launch their Web browsers, they generally head in different directions.

Republicans favor sites about money, including financial news and services sites CNBC.com, Schwab.com and E*Trade, according to the report, which looked at the top sites both parties visit. Democrats prefer sites that help save money, including shopping site Colonize.com, and advice sites Askme.com and Ehow.com.

The top sites were determined by who makes up their audience. For example, registered Republicans are the most concentrated audience logging on to TheStreet.com, making up about 45 percent of its visitors.

Because more Republicans surf the Web, it could mean more exposure for the Web sites of the party's candidates this November. In August, Media Metrix found that Republican Party sites outshined their Democratic counterparts in site visitors during their respective national conventions.

Other sites popular with Republicans include online toy store eToys, sports news site CNNsi.com and real estate site Homeadvisor.com. For Democrats, donating food on Thehungersite.com or picking up gardening tips at Garden.com are big draws.

The research, part of a Media Metrix Election 2000 series, is based on projections from a study of about 55,000 people in the United States over a three-month period. It combined data about consumer behaviors on and offline.