The Power of a Tweet? Social Media, Presidential Communication, and the Politics of Health

Simon F. Haeder, Jacqueline Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social media holds the potential to transform presidential communication and leadership. We test whether presidential tweets affect public opinions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as partisan reputations for handling health policy using a survey-based experiment. We find that negative tweets about the ACA from President Trump reduced favorability toward the ACA among Republicans and increased the partisan gap. Support was particularly reduced among Republicans with low levels of racial resentment, with a corresponding opposite effect among Democrats with high levels of racial resentment. We found only limited effects on opinions about party handling of health policy more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-473
Number of pages38
JournalPresidential Studies Quarterly
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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