Social-media-using by the two major candidates of the 2016 US Presidential Election, during the election, significantly influenced the American voters’ attitude towards casting their votes, revealed a latest study.
The study was conducted by a three researchers’ team led by Timothy Macafee, an Assistant Professor of the Department of Communication at Concordia University Wisconsin. His other two research teammates were Bryan McLaughlin of Texas Tech University and Nathian Shae Rodriguez of San Diego State University.
In conducting the study the researchers have surveyed a total of 1201 US adults in one week period in early October 2016. Later 498 participants among the total participants took part in another second survey.
The candidates, Trump and Hilary, play important roles to get the attention of their supporters during the election by using social media as these activities “facilitated favorable attitudes” among their supporters.
According to the research, the supporters of a candidate are likely to vote for that candidate as the supporters get convinced that the candidate would win the race. In this process, the supporters perceived such an idea by following the candidate’s social media handle.
The supporters when following the opposing candidate, meanwhile, tend to do not “buy” the narratives being promoted by the opposing candidate. They also think that the opposing candidate would not win the race and which actually led them to be reluctant on opposing candidate’s claims and activities over social media, the study also found.
To read more: https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305119826130
Macafee, T., McLaughlin, B., & Rodriguez, N. S. (2019). Winning on Social Media: Candidate Social-Mediated Communication and Voting During the 2016 US Presidential Election. Social Media + Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305119826130