Paper Type

Complete

Abstract

This paper explores partisan polarization in the 2022 U.S. Senate races by analyzing data from the American National Election Studies (ANES) post-election survey, and election-related tweets between Labor Day and Election Day. We find that approximately 26 issues were prevalent during these midterm elections. Six issues were polarized in both contexts – climate change, illegal immigration, health care, public school education, gun policy, and abortion. However, three other issues emerged as more non-partisan – jobs, crime, and the cost of living. In many of the Senate races, the candidates themselves seemed to matter more than the issues. Furthermore, Democrats were more positive than Republicans about their same-party candidates throughout the election cycle. Our main contribution is to demonstrate how surveys can be used to understand ideological issues whereas X/Twitter can be used to assess perceptions of candidates, and to identify and unpack issues that are important to partisan voters.

Paper Number

1156

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

An Analysis of Partisan Polarization in the 2022 U.S. Senate Races

This paper explores partisan polarization in the 2022 U.S. Senate races by analyzing data from the American National Election Studies (ANES) post-election survey, and election-related tweets between Labor Day and Election Day. We find that approximately 26 issues were prevalent during these midterm elections. Six issues were polarized in both contexts – climate change, illegal immigration, health care, public school education, gun policy, and abortion. However, three other issues emerged as more non-partisan – jobs, crime, and the cost of living. In many of the Senate races, the candidates themselves seemed to matter more than the issues. Furthermore, Democrats were more positive than Republicans about their same-party candidates throughout the election cycle. Our main contribution is to demonstrate how surveys can be used to understand ideological issues whereas X/Twitter can be used to assess perceptions of candidates, and to identify and unpack issues that are important to partisan voters.

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