Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Social media’s role in American politics has exploded in importance over the past decade. The 2018 primary season saw a massive rise in the amount of progressive, female, and younger candidates across the United States, particularly within the Democratic Party. This paper examines the role of social media outreach within the context of three case studies, all of which featured an insurgent, female, progressive candidate defeating their older, establishment, male opponents within their respective Democratic primaries. All three insurgent candidates maintained a higher rate of both social media output, personalization, and interactivity with the user base, which creates more engagement among voters and wider audiences on their social media accounts. This paper finds that candidates with greater amounts of social media output, personalization, and interactivity cultivate greater engagement among users than those without, implying that greater social media engagement results in greater enthusiasm among voters.