Video was surprising, too. Among all Internet users, just 19 percent went online in the lead-up to the 2006 midterms to watch videos about candidates in the campaign. That figure jumped significantly to 31 percent in 2010. The biggest jump was among age groups over 30—and Republicans. Whether this increase was due to folks stroking their beards and nodding along to serious political news docs, or having a laugh to Christine O’Donnell’s Crucible-like witchcraft denials, is something, alas, Pew doesn’t tell us.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.