Getting good and mad: Exploring the use of anger on Twitter by female candidates in 2020

Heather K. Evans, Bryan T. Gervais, Annelise Russell

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

1 Scopus citations


Although recent elections have seen campaigns rely on digital messaging to mobilize voters, the coronavirus pandemic severely limited their use of traditional, face-to-face get-out-the-vote (GOTV) tactics in 2020, giving campaigns little choice but to mobilize via digital messaging. Given that anger is key to mobilizing, we might expect a general uptick in angry rhetoric among campaigns. However, we previously found that during 2018, the digital campaigns of women Democrats were particularly likely to leverage anger, suggesting differences in angry rhetoric use across gender and party. Furthermore, other work on gender and social media has found that women are more likely to "go negative" than men in campaigns. Did 2020 see a continuation of this trend or did the coronavirus disrupt it? Leveraging a dataset of tweets posted by the campaign accounts of all 2020 House candidates, we analyze the connection between gender, partisanship, and angry rhetoric in 2020. Our study provides insight into the gendering of social media campaign strategies during a campaign season with an unprecedented digital imprint.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Roads to Congress 2020
Subtitle of host publicationCampaigning in the Era of Trump and COVID-19
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030825218
StatePublished - Nov 20 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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