Media vs. candidates and minorities vs. majorities
Who sets the public’s agenda in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary?
Despite an abundance of research dedicated to the first level agenda setting process in political elections, there is a considerable gap within the literature regarding how the amount of media coverage granted to minority candidates – people of color and women – influence their salience in public opinion. The current study seeks to address this gap by analyzing the effects of online coverage of minority candidates and their subsequent performance in national polling data from June 1, 2019 to November 20, 2019. The present study utilizes a time-series analysis to compare three information formats: Twitter accounts of major media organizations, online web mentions of candidates from these organizations, and the candidates’ own Twitter presence. The presented findings illustrate important relationships – specifically, where candidates of color were able to set their own agenda through their Twitter accounts as opposed to coverage that they received from the media.
Keywords: agenda setting theory, political primary, polling data, priming theory, Twitter presence, time series analysis
Published online: 15 January 2021
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