Democrats adopt technology sooner, study finds

A new survey from the Consumer Electronics Association finds that members of both parties buy shiny new electronic gadgets, but Democrats tend to buy them sooner.

Mary Knox Merrill / The Christian Science Monitor / File
Facundo Chamut (left) speaks with salesman Gemal Harrison (right) about the Sony eReader at the Sony Style retail store in Boston, MA, Dec. 2, 2009. New technologies like the eReader, iPod, iPad, laptops, and smartphones are typically adopted by Democrats before Republicans, according to a new study.

Republicans and Democrats may have political differences, but they do agree on one thing: they love technology. A new survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found that Democrats are slightly more inclined to consider themselves early adopters of technology than Republicans (25 percent vs. 17 percent), but ownership rates of consumer electronics are equal across party affiliations.

Despite our political differences, highlighted by the passion in the 2010 midterm elections, we all understand the important role technology plays in making our lives better,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Regardless of politics, Americans agree that technology makes us a stronger nation and helps advance our economy.”

Total factory sales of consumer electronis products are expected to reach $175 billion in 2010, an increase of three percent from 2009. The average U.S. household spent $1,380 on consumer electronics in the past 12 months, up $151 from last year. On average, individual adults report personally spending $794 on CE products in the past year.

Electronics are also leading holiday wish lists. The average American will spend $232 on electronics gifts this year, according to CEA’s 17th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study. This is the highest dollar amount in the history of the study, an increase of five percent over last year. Democrats, Republicans and Independents will be purchasing laptop computers, iPads and eReaders for their loved ones this year.

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