Using an August 2008 representative survey of Americans conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, we investigate the consequences of Internet-based political activity for long-standing patterns of participatory inequality. There is little evidence of change in the extent to which political participation is stratified by socioeconomic status, even when we account for the fact that the well educated and affluent are more likely to be Internet users. However, because young adults are much more likely than their elders to be comfortable with electronic technologies and to use the Internet, the Web has ameliorated the well-known participatory deficit among those who have recently joined the electorate. Still, among Internet users, the young are not especially politically active. How these trends play out in the future depends on what happens to the current Web-savvy younger generation and the cohorts that follow as well as on the rapidly developing political capacities of the Web.

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