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Democrats and Republicans Agree: Consumer Technologies are a Must-Have

Democrats and Republicans disagree on many issues facing this country, but as Americans head to the polls tomorrow to cast their vote, both parties share a love for technology. According to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, Democrats and Republicans have similar ownership and adoption rates of consumer electronics (CE), as well as comparable purchase expectations and wish lists this holiday season.

On the surface, Democrats report spending slightly more than Republicans on technology over the past 12 months; Democrats report spending $779 on CE products during the past year while Republicans say they’ve spent $747. While some CE products, such as cell phones and portable MP3 players, share equal ownership rates among the parties, Republicans report higher ownership rates of other CE products, like smartphones, digital cameras, HDTVs and laptops. However, once other variables, like household size and income are taken into account, Democrats and Republicans show no significant differences in how much they spend on technology or the technology products they own. In fact, after holding other variables constant, only TV ownership rates remain statistically different between self-identifying Republicans (99 percent ownership) and Democrats (97 percent ownership).

“Despite all the potential things that can divide us as a country, the one thing that Democrats and Republicans clearly agree on is technology,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “Technology and innovation unite us as a country. Our results make clear that despite many political differences, tech spending and CE ownership is largely uninfluenced by political party affiliation. Although we didn’t research this, I am also confident that almost all agree that it will be wonderful to move on past the election and start seeing non-political advertisements.”

CEA research also shows that Democrats and Republicans have similar approaches and expectations toward holiday shopping this year. Members of both parties plan to start their holiday shopping around Black Friday weekend. Shoppers associating with both parties plan to allocate a similar amount of money to technology gifts.

Party affiliation also had no impact on holiday wish lists. Democrats and Republicans were practically identical in their plans to give some of the hottest tech items this holiday, including smartphones and tablets. Democrats and Republicans also are equally likely to shop for CE devices online and search for CE promotions using social networking sites.

Data was collected from CEA’s 14th Annual Household CE Ownership and Market Potential Study (April 2012), which was conducted between January 26-30, 2012, and CEA’s 19th Annual CE Holiday Purchase Patterns Study (October 2012), which was conducted in September 2012. Both studies were designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. Each complete study is available free to CEA member companies at members.CE.org. Non-members may purchase each study at the CEA Store.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $206 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media: https://www.facebook.com/#!/CEAfeed, http://twitter.com/ceafeed, http://blog.ce.org/.

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    November 15, 2012, London, UK
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