However, Pew found that 11 percent — or around one in 10 — Americans followed the live debate coverage simultaneously on TV and their computers or mobile devices. A notable slice of this group that watched the debate live on two glowing screens — roughly 22 percent — were Americans under the age of 40.
Younger Americans made up the bulk of the group that exclusively watched the debate live online, the study found. Nearly one-third of the group that only watched debate coverage online were younger than 40 years old.
But few people who watched the debate live online said that they also voiced their gripes, cheers and other reactions to the debate on the Web, according to Pew. Just one-third reported that they shared their reactions online.
Television won out again as the top source Americans turned to when watching the debate coverage live or after it ended. Pew found that seven in 10 Americans followed debate coverage on TV.
Despite the rise of the Web, many Americans chose to follow coverage of the debate on more traditional media, such as newspapers and radio. Nearly one-third of Americans reported that they followed debate coverage via newspapers, and one-quarter did so by listening to radio broadcasts.
However, social-networking sites were also a key source Americans turned to for coverage of the debate. Around 22 percent said they tracked the debate coverage from social-networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, according to Pew.
For the study, Pew conducted phone interviews from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7 with more than 1,000 adults living in the U.S. who were 18 or older.