On an average day in August 2006, 26 million Americans used the Internet for political news or information about upcoming mid-term elections.

These findings point to an all-time high, beating traffic counts reported during the November 2004 general election campaign, according to a recently released Pew Internet Project Data Memo covering online politics.

During a similar point during the 2002 mid-term election cycle, Pew reports 11 million Americans using the Internet for political information. The August 2006 figure shows a 250 percent increase in online activity for political content.

Pew suggests that more people are going online for campaign and political information as a result of more attractive Internet content from a greater number of credible sources, and increased Internet access – including greater use of the Internet at home versus at work.

As for a demographic breakdown, the study finds that men are more apt to online for political content than women, and the rate for college graduates is higher than for the average Internet user.

The study was based on nationally representative telephone interviews conducted throughout the month of August, with a response rate of 28 percent. Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit research organization that examines the use of the Internet and provides commentary on its social impact.