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Monday, March 14, 2016

What America Thinks: #Hashtag Politics

Thanks to modern technological advances, political news is at our fingertips more than ever before, and the advent of social media allows us to start political revolutions with the click of a mouse button. Social media and internet culture have certainly had an impact on this year’s presidential election, particularly among the hashtag-savvy, sparking movements such as “Bern Baby Bern” and discussions like “Always Trump/Never Trump” and “Always Clinton/Never Clinton.” Are voters jumping on the hashtag politics bandwagon? We decided to find out what America thinks.

One of the more recent hashtag movements to come out of the presidential race is “Always Trump/Never Trump,” adopted by ardent supporters and vehement opponents alike to express their stance on voting for Republican candidate Donald Trump should he be the party’s eventual nominee. 54% of Likely U.S. Voters say “Never Trump,” while just 23% say “Always Trump," though Republican voters are significantly more divided.

Hashtags like these mark evolving trends on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and even though very few turn to social media first for political news, 43% of Americans still think social media keeps more people informed of major news events. One-in-four (23%) use sites like Twitter and Facebook to follow breaking news as it unfolds. Not surprisingly, younger voters are much more likely to follow news on social media than their elders.

So whether you’re #FeelingtheBern or wondering #WhichHillary, there’s sure to be a political movement with your name—or hashtag—on it.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.