Gender and Political Party Differences in U.S. Governors’ Twitter Use on COVID-19

Topic: Big Data
Type: Knowledge Brief
Author: Anita Raj and Nabamallika Dehingia Date: January 2022

In the United States, governors’ recommendations and policies have played a key role in COVID-19 testing and prevention, and consequently infection and fatality rates.1,2 Policy response to COVID was strongly partisan, with Democratic-led states more likely than Republican-led states to issue prevention activity mandates (e.g., mask wearing, stay-at-home orders).

Gender is also believed to have some effect on COVID-19 outcomes, based on global evidence indicating that nations led by women are more likely than nations led by men to issue stay-at-home mandates earlier and to see lower COVID-19 fatality rates.5 This type of gender analysis of political leaders has not been conducted in the U.S., a concern, given prior research suggesting that American women politicians are more likely to focus on health and welfare concerns as compared to their male counterparts.6 This study examines U.S. governors’ COVID-19 messaging on Twitter by gender and political party; we focus on Twitter given its common use by politicians for public communication during the pandemic.

Stay in touch. Sign up for gender data updates.