Candidates missing the boomer vote

This week, our news analysis took a look at the inefficient use of new media by the 2008 presidential candidates.

Aside from the...

This week, our news analysis took a look at the inefficient use of new media by the 2008 presidential candidates.

Aside from the lack of meaningful engagement taking place, there's also been negligence of the all-important boomer vote in the candidates' new media outreach tactics. Historically, older Americans (meaning older than the coveted 18 to 34 demographic) vote is much greater numbers than younger ones. According to a national exit poll posted on CNN.com from the 2006 election, 12% of the responding voters were 18-29 years old while 63% were 45 or older.

Estimates say there are currently 78 million baby boomers in the US, which equals a lot of voting power. (Baby boomers are defined as those born between 1946 and 1964).

“I think a lot of boomers see MySpace as being for their kids,” says Carol Orsborn, SVP and co-chair of FHBoom, Fleishman-Hillard’s practice dedicated to reaching “boomers and beyond.” Findings from research conducted by FHBoom and Zoomerang found that 80% of boomers use computers on a regular basis, one-third going online daily.“They’re tech savvy enough to Google something… but tend to be a tech cycle behind younger generations,” says Orsborn.

She goes on to say that boomers are more likely to accept information from third-party sources. “They want to know that the information is coming to them from an objective source that doesn’t have an agenda,” adds Orsborn.

So, not only are social media sites less likely to hit this large audience, talking yourself up is probably not the best way to win the boomer vote once you manage to get their attention.

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