Senate Representation on Twitter: National Policy Reputations for Constituent Communication

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10 Scopus citations


Objective: American politics has become more nationalized, and this trend is buoyed by senators’ social media patterns that incentivize connections with an expansive digital constituency. This article examines how U.S. senators reflect and perpetuate this trend of national policy priorities with their constituent communication on Twitter. Methods: I investigate how senators reflect and perpetuate this era of national policy priorities by using a two-year data set of tweets to show how senators are using Twitter to articulate a robust policy agenda. Results: Senators’ policy-driven messaging is the dominant style of reputation building on Twitter. Senators are adopting digital styles of representation that prioritize policy, positioning themselves as legislative experts to emphasize salient policies rather than local concerns. Conclusion: Senators are communicating a policy-first style of representation that meets the expectations of cultivated policy coalitions, and Twitter offers a birds-eye view of one source for the public's nationalized attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-323
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the Southwestern Social Science Association

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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