Did COVID Infect Twitter? An analysis of campaign Tweets in 2020


Author/Creator ORCID



Hood College Political Science


Hood College Departmental Honors

Citation of Original Publication


Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States


The study investigated the presence of issue-related statements within tweets on a candidate's Twitter feed (N = 20). The study finds that the coronavirus outbreak had a significant influence on the social media behavior —pushing campaign efforts almost entirely onto the internet. It also took up a significant amount of social media discussion. While there was no significant relationship between social media output regarding the topic and electoral results, it still served a predictive function. The fact that the frequency in which the coronavirus outbreak was mentioned serves as a solid predictor of partisanship speaks to the polarization of this era. Issues rooted in observable phenomena and scientific evidence have become indistinguishable from partisan issues and ideological debate —as it is the norm to run a campaign as a party opposed to the other’s stance rather than a party of stances.