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One in Five Get Campaign News from Facebook

CNN is the top online site among Internet users for election info, but offline media still rules when it comes to how Americans get news

For better or worse, 20 percent of Americans regularly (or sometimes) get their campaign news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. By comparison, only five percent of the 1507 people participating in the survey use Twitter to get that kind of information, the study said.

When Americans go online for campaign skinny, more than half of them (52 percent) consult websites and apps of predominantly offline news outlets, such as the websites for print, TV, and radio station. Another 34 percent consult online-only news sources.

Most people, though, aren't going online to get their campaign news. Most consult either cable news outlets (36 percent) or local TV (32 percent) for that kind of information. To view the Pew Research Center's chart on How Campaigns and Candidates Are Reaching Voters click here.

When Americans do go online for campaign news, they most often consult CNN (24 percent) or Yahoo (22 percent), followed by Google (13 percent), Fox News (10 percent) and MSN (eight percent.) Outlets like the Huffington Post and Drudge Report (both at two percent) are consulted about as often as Twitter for campaign news.

While much is made of candidates using online technologies to reach voters, the researchers found that the good old-fashioned TV or radio ad still has the broadest reach of any medium. Almost three quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they'd seen or heard a campaign commercial. That compares to 16 percent who had received an email, 15 percent who had visited a candidate's website and six percent who have followed candidates on Twitter or Facebook.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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