Conservatives and asymmetric polarization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The U.S. Senate has developed into a party-polarized institution where the gap between Republican and Democratic lawmakers is filled by strong partisanship and polarization, and that influences the rhetoric that fills the newspapers, airwaves, and now Twitter feeds. Senators regularly bait and blame political opponents on social media, but not all senators are equally critical or use the same partisan rhetoric. I find that Republican senators are more likely to rely on partisan language to communicate their priorities and preferences on social media. By analyzing senators’ social media messages, we gain a window into political actors’ priorities, and more importantly that window highlights when and how politicians use politically tinged rhetoric. I also tested how rhetoric shifted during the early weeks of the Donald Trump presidency where Republicans operated under united government. I find that Republicans maintain their asymmetry patterns of polarization when it comes to rallying their co-partisans, but Democrats are now getting in the mud on social media too.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConservative Political Communication
Subtitle of host publicationHow Right-Wing Media and Messaging (Re)Made American Politics
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351187220
StatePublished - Apr 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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