Twitter Study Shows Democrats Were WEEKS Ahead of Republicans Tweeting About the Coronavirus


Johns Hopkins University

A new study shows that half of Democrats in Congress had tweeted about the coronavirus by February 4th, while Republicans in Congress didn’t reach that level until nearly three weeks later.

The Pew Research Center did an in-depth study of congressional tweets about the coronavirus crisis, and found that while Democrats and Republicans posted a similar number of tweets about the crisis during the period they studied, Democrats were much earlier to mention the virus:

But while similar shares of all tweets from congressional Democrats and Republicans referenced the issue, Democratic members tended to mention it earlier than Republicans. The Center estimates that half of all Democratic members had referenced the virus in at least one tweet as of Feb. 4, while it took until Feb. 24 for half of Republicans to do so.

The study found other differences between Democrats and Republicans when it came to tweeting about the crisis. Praise for President Donald Trump’s response to the crisis was rare among Democrats, but criticism of Trump from Republicans was almost nonexistent:

During the time period evaluated, an estimated 9% of all tweets from Democratic members explicitly criticized the administration’s response, while 6% of all tweets from Republicans were explicitly supportive. Even though these posts made up relatively small shares of all tweets related to the virus, by March 21, 70% of Democrats had posted at least one tweet that included direct criticism of the administration and its response, and 70% of their GOP counterparts had tweeted at least once praising the administration on this issue. Tweets from Democrats that criticized the administration drew more audience engagement: a median of 145 likes and 50 retweets. Tweets from Republicans praising Trump received a more modest increase in engagement: a median of 59 likes and 18 retweets.

Lawmaker tweets that criticized Trump administration on COVID-19 resulted in higher audience engagementIt was extremely rare to find praise of the administration’s response to the outbreak from Democrats – or criticism of the administration from Republicans. In a hand-reviewed sample of more than 10,000 tweets about the virus, Center researchers found that fewer than half of 1% of tweets from Democrats praised the administration or its response. And an even smaller share of tweets from Republicans (less than one-tenth of 1%) directly criticized the administration in some way.

You can read the full study here.

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