Internet and Electoral Competition : The Case of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya
/ Joan Balcells ; Ana Sofía CardenalBalcells, Joan
En: Reis : Revista española de investigaciones sociológicas
. [Madrid], núm. 141 (2013) , p. 3-28
Bibliografia. Resums en castellà i anglès.
This paper tests the equalization hypothesis at the vote level. A good number of studies have examined whether the Internet is levelling the playing fi eld in electoral competition by offering fringe parties opportunities to increase their visibility. To test the infl uence of use of the Internet in vote choice, we analyze the behaviour of ERC voters. Using survey data, we test whether online exposure to political information affects vote choice among these voters. We fi nd that online exposure to political information increases the probability of voting for Solidaritat Catalana relatively to voting again for ERC. The analysis provides empirical evidence to support the idea that the Internet works as a differentiated media environment in which political messages compete in more equal terms.