Social media, U.S. Presidential campaigns, and public opinion polls: Disentangling effects

Patrícia G.C. Rossini, Feifei Zhang, Jeffrey Hemsley, Jerry Robinson, Sikana Tanupabrungsun, Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of digital technologies by political campaigns has been a topic of scholarly concern for over two decades. However, these studies have been mostly focused on analyzing the use of digital platforms without considering contextual factors of the race, like public opinion polling data. Polling data is an important information source for both citizens and candidates, and provides the latter with information that might drive strategic communication. In this paper, we explore the relationship between the use of social media in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections and candidates' standing in public opinion polls focusing on the surfacing and primary stages of the campaign. We are also interested in understanding whether candidates use Twitter and Facebook in similar ways. We used automated content analysis to categorize social media posts from all 21 Republican and Democratic candidates that ran for president in 2016. Specifically, we are interested in observing whether a candidate's performance in the polls drives certain communicative strategies, such as the use of attacks and messages of advocacy, as well as the focus on personal image or policy issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication8th International Conference on Social Media and Society
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Media for Good or Evil, #SMSociety 2017
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
VolumePart F129683
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348478
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2017
Event8th International International Conference on Social Media and Society, #SMSociety 2017 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jul 28 2017Jul 30 2017

Other

Other8th International International Conference on Social Media and Society, #SMSociety 2017
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period7/28/177/30/17

Keywords

  • Digital Campaigns
  • Facebook
  • Machine Learning
  • Political Campaigns
  • Public Opinion Polls
  • Twitter.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software

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    Rossini, P. G. C., Zhang, F., Hemsley, J., Robinson, J., Tanupabrungsun, S., & Stromer-Galley, J. (2017). Social media, U.S. Presidential campaigns, and public opinion polls: Disentangling effects. In 8th International Conference on Social Media and Society: Social Media for Good or Evil, #SMSociety 2017 (Vol. Part F129683). [3097342] Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3097286.3097342