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In political news wars, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert beat Twitter and Facebook

at 12:44 PM ET, 02/07/2012

Social media still have nothing on Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Wolf Blitzer.

Twitter and Facebook are great tools for the political junkie, and God knows The Fix team are big fans. But when it comes to the 2012 election, the reach of these social media tools is actually pretty small and isn’t growing very quickly relative to the most popular medium: TV.

And the late-night talkers are as relevant as ever, with 9 percent of people saying they regularly get their campaign news from people like Stewart, Colbert, Jay Leno and David Letterman. Among the toughest voters to reach — those under 30 — 15 percent say late-night shows are a significant source of their political news.

TV news is still king, of course, with around one-third of people saying they get their political news from cable news networks or local TV news. The former standard-bearer in the news business, the daily newspaper, has dropped from 40 percent to 20 percent over the past 12 years. (Frowny face.) Though another 20 percent said they rely on a Web site associated with a newspaper. So that’s basically still 40 percent, right? (Smiley face.)

So what does it tell us?

As much as we may love the latest technology, and as much time as people like The Fix team spend on Twitter and Facebook, this election is still very much being decided by a small universe of TV producers and hosts and the people who influence what that coverage looks like — including, it should be noted, newspapers and bloggers.

The old media clearly rules on the presidential campaign trail.

But we still love Twitter.

 
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