Negative Sentiment and Congressional Cue-Taking on Social Media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Congressional candidates regularly turn their frustration into posts on Facebook, fueling extreme partisanship and echo-chamber dialogue with their negative sentiment. In this research, we provide new evidence demonstrating the power of that negative sentiment to elicit more user engagement on Facebook across various metrics, illustrating how congressional candidates' use of negativity corresponds with greater negativity in public responses. To fully comprehend the impact of these online political messages, we use a dictionary-based computational approach to catalog the tone of US House of Representatives candidates' messages on Facebook and the user responses they elicit during the 2020 election. This research speaks to the power of elite rhetoric to shape political climates and pairs candidate strategies with user responses - contributing new insights into the mechanisms for voter engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 5 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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