Survey of U.S. Voters Shows “Smartphone Gap:” iPhone/Andoid Owners Differ From General Population

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ADOTAS – When asked which candidate for the U.S. presidency they’d vote for if the election were held today, the political alignment of U.S. voters who own iPhone or Android smartphones differs from that of the country’s population as a whole by about 20 percent, according to a new survey conducted at the end of June by Harris Interactive on behalf of mobile advertising services provider Velti.

In other words, while the survey of over 2,100 adults, including over 750 iPhone or Android owners, showed Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney edging slightly ahead of President Barack Obama in general, 49 percent of those iPhone/Android owners said they’d vote for Obama and 31 percent said they’d vote for Romney. A statement from Velti referred to that disparity as the “smartphone gap.”

There wasn’t, incidentally, a substantial political cross-platform split. Among Obama supporters, 47 percent owned iPhones and 50 percent owned Android devices, while among Romney supporters, 34 percent owned iPhones and 29 percent owned Androids. But there was an education gap and a wealth gap: 56 percent of iPhone or Android owners with college or graduate degrees said they’d be inclined to vote for Obama, compared to 35 percent of similarly educated smartphone owners who picked Romney. Obama leads among iPhone/Android users who earn at least $75,000 per year, too — 49 percent of that group would vote for him, and 39 percent for Romney. Romney leads among retired iPhone/Android owners, of whom 57 support support him, compared to 34 percent who support Obama.

The survey also showed Obama maintains support of the 18-34 set, among smartphone owners — 54 percent of male and 60 percent of female iPhone or Android users in that age group said they’d vote for Obama. Compare that to Obama’s 32 percent support among male iPhone/Android owners ages 35-44, or 39 percent support among female iPhone/Android owners ages 45 and up.

Velti’s assessment, in a release the company issued today, is that interested parties need a “greater behavioral understanding” of smartphone users specifically. In a phone conversation yesterday, Velti CMO Krishna Subramanian pointed to how deeply smartphones have penetrated the market, the geolocation functionality of smartphones and the frequency with which people use such devices as important factors for political advertisers to consider. A lot of smartphone users, he said, “are looking at their phone more than once or twice a day — it’s probably greater than the number of times they turn on the TV.” With mobile users so tied to their devices, he said, it’s worth it for involved parties to figure out where that “smartphone gap” comes from.

But once they discern its meaning, Subramanian said, they can leverage it quickly. “Mobile is very actionable,” he said, through targeting and retargeting, by states or by ZIP code or by other geographical segments that would be useful in a nationwide campaign. “Voters are constantly on the go,” he said. “Mobile gives campaigns the ability to target by region and get immediate responses.” Whatever the core issue and the message the campaign wants to send about that issue, mobile technology, he said, allows the campaign to send the message and measure engagement quickly. “Maybe voters are coming in slower from certain ZIP codes,” he said. Campaign workers used to make phone calls to households of registered voters in key areas when votes were coming in slowly. “Now you have the ability to proactively reach out,” he said. “Maybe they’re already on their way to the polls.”

Velti also shared an infographic illustrating the results of the survey, which you can see here (click to enlarge):

Velti Survey Shows “Smartphone Ggeoap” in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election

Survey Results Indicate a Strong Correlation Between Smartphone User Demographics and
Voter Preference

San Francisco, CA – July 10, 2012 – Velti (NASDAQ: VELT), the leading global provider of
mobile marketing and advertising technology, today unveiled the results of a nationwide
survey that shows a nearly 20 percent difference in political alignment among voters who
own either an Android or iPhone smartphone, illustrating the value of greater behavioural
understanding in advertising and marketing to this important emerging demographic. The
survey was conducted online, on Velti’s behalf, by Harris Interactive among nearly 800
iPhone and Android smartphone owners.

When asked, “If the presidential election were held today, who would you vote for?,”
49 percent of iPhone/Android owners say they would vote for President Barack Obama,
while only 31 percent say they would vote for Mitt Romney to replace Obama. At present,
traditional presidential polls show Romney pulling slightly ahead in the race when Americans
are surveyed, regardless of smartphone preference.

“The results of this survey demonstrate that the smartphone market is becoming a
whole new demographic that candidates must take into consideration when building a
comprehensive campaign strategy,” said Krishna Subramanian, CMO, Velti. “Clearly, mobile
advertising is emerging as an influential medium and a distinct audience. We are just
beginning to see a more strategic use of this platform, such as Mitt Romney’s iAd campaign,
and believe that others will follow suit. More importantly, the survey results reveal that
greater intelligence in understanding the behaviour of this emerging demographic can be
a critical differentiator in brand awareness and consumer behaviour across any number of
markets and applications.”

The study also found a significant education gap between supporters of the candidates. Of
iPhone/Android owners with a college degree or higher, 35 percent plan to support Romney,
while 56 percent plan to vote for Obama. Among wealthy iPhone/Android owners—those
with a household income of $75,000 a year or greater—39 percent plan to vote for Romney
while Obama maintains a 10 percent lead, with 49 percent of that population planning to re-
elect. Romney does, however, maintain an advantage over Obama among retirees, with 57
percent of retired iPhone/Android owners supporting him vs. 34 percent who would vote for
Obama if the election were held today.

Overall, the survey found that supporters of each candidate were more evenly split across
their choice of smartphone: Obama voters were comprised of 47 percent iPhone owners and
50 percent Android owners, while anticipated Romney voters were made up of 34 percent
iPhone owners and 29 percent Android.

Other interesting trends uncovered among iPhone/Android owners who said they would
vote for Barack Obama if the presidential election were held today include:

Over half (54 percent) of male iPhone/Android owners surveyed who are age 18-
34 would vote for Barack Obama; they are more likely than males age 35-44 (32

percent) to say this.
Among female iPhone/Android owners, the support from younger voters is even
more significant, with 60 percent of those age 18-34 saying they would vote for the
President today compared to just 39 percent of those age 45+.
iPhone/Android owners who are single/never married are more likely to say they’d
vote for Obama today than those who are married (59 percent vs. 43 percent,
respectively).

An infographic illustrating the survey results can be found here.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf
of Velti from June 27-29, 2012 among 2,164 adults ages 18 and older, among whom
776 are iPhone/Android owners. This online survey is not based on a probability sample
and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete
survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Victoria Krammen at
vkrammen@sutherlandgold.com.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is the classic separation of the city people from the landed gentry as described by Adam Smith in “Wealth of Nations”.
    The warriors need the line of authority and the intellectuals cannot be successful following a single line of authority. People in the city depend on commerce and new technology to make their living, something that directly threatens the status quo and the line of authority for the country people.
    This conflict goes on and on in history; The question is whether technology finally trumps the landed gentry.

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