The Responses of Minority Women in the House of Representatives to President Trump's tweets

Mikaela Benton, Dr. Laura Roselle and Dr. Jessica Carew, Department of Political Science and Policy Studies, Elon University 100 Campus Drive Elon NC, 27244

This research explores the responses of thirteen minority women in the House of Representatives to President Trump’s tweets about them. This study is a part of a larger project evaluating both the nature and effect of President Trump’s tweets to minority women in the House of Representatives. While Twitter has been increasingly used by more politicians as a way to connect with their constituents, President Trump has been the first president to consistently use Twitter to communicate with other diplomats, his own colleagues in Congress, and the rest of the public (Pain & Chen, 2019). Women of color in particular are underrepresented in Congress (Bauer, 2015; Pearson and Dancy, 2011) and face additional stereotypes in their positions of leadership (Sanchez- Hucles & Sanchez, 2007). This study focuses on the strategies the women employed in responding to President Trump’s tweets. The thirteen women that he tweeted about and to are: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Val Demings, Veronica Escobar, Tulsi Gabbard, Jenniffer Gonzalez, Pramila Jayapal, Eleanor Holmes-Norton, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Maxine Waters, and Frederica Wilson. Tweets were gathered from each individual Congresswoman's twitter page using Twitter's advanced search function, a seven day range was given from when Trump initially tweeted at the Congresswoman. Tweets were coded according to six different strategies: symbolic rerouting, contesting the source, contesting the content, contesting the strategy, humor differentiation, and pop culture references. Although 120 tweets were collected only 70 were coded for relevance. The strategies used the most were contesting the content, symbolic rerouting, and contesting the source. This research contributes to the field of literature surrounding the use of social media by politicians and President Trump and the challenges that women of color face in the House of Representatives. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Mikaela Benton

Institution: Elon University

Type: Poster

Subject: Political Science

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6519