Although many developments surrounding the Internet campaign are now considered to be standard fare, there were a number of newer developments in 2020. Drawing on original research conducted by leading experts, The Internet and the 2020 Campaign attempts to cover these developments in a comprehensive fashion. How are campaigns making use of the Internet to organize and mobilize their ground game? To communicate their message? How are citizens making use of online sources to become informed, follow campaigns, participate, and more, and to what effect? How has the Internet affected developments in media reporting, both traditional and non-traditional, of the campaign? What other messages were available online, and what effects did these messages have had on citizens attitudes and vote choice? The book examines these questions in an attempt to summarize the 2020 online campaign.
Jody C. Baumgartner is the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of political science at East Carolina University.
Terri L. Towner is Professor of Political Science at Oakland University in Michigan.
Section I: The Internet “Meta-Campaign”
Chapter 1. Social Media against Society: Information Manipulation in the 2020 Election by Luca Luceri, Stefano Cresci, and Slivia Giordano
Chapter 2. Digital Media Expenditures in Presidential Campaigns, 2008-2020 by Jeff Gulati and Christine B. Williams
Chapter 3. Incivility in the 2020 Congressional Campaigns by James N. Druckman, Martin J. Kifer and Michael Parkin
Section II: Campaign Communication on the Internet
Chapter 4. All Aboard the #TrumpTrain: How House Candidates Discussed Trump on Twitter in 2016, 2018, and 2020 by Heather K. Evans, Michaela Woodard, Miranda Estrada and Jackson Jannell
Chapter 5. “Tweeting to Power,” Reconsidered: Information Control and Congressional Campaigns By Jason Gainous and Kevin M. Wagner
Chapter 6. What's the Issue With Instagram? Issue and Character Trait Communication in the 2020 Presidential Election by Mark D. Ludwig
Chapter 7. Constructing Gender, Race, Marital Status, and Sexual Orientation as "Presidential": The Case of Instagram and the 2020 Primary Campaign by Diana Zulli
Section III: The Internet Campaign and Citizens
Chapter 8. Media Dependency and the 2020 Campaign: Source Effects on Media Trust, Foreign Interference, and Regulations by Terri L. Towner, Robert Alexander, and Lauren Copeland
Chapter 9. Who Are The "Expressive Attentives?" Identifying Democratic Twitter Activists in 2020 US Election Campaign Conversations by Todd Belt and Michael Cornfield
Chapter 10. Fact-Checkers and Citizens: The Case of the 2021 Georgia Senate Runoff Elections by David S. Morris, Jonathan S. Morris and Peter L. Francia
Chapter 11. Generational Differences in Digital Electoral Engagement in the 2020 Presidential Campaign by Diana Owen and Wenyuan Deng
Chapter 12. Platforms and the Presidency: Public Preferences for Digital and Socially-Mediated Presidential Communication by Joshua M. Scacco and Eric C. Wiemer
This book provides a comprehensive examination of the 2020 campaign: the role of big tech companies, the ways campaigns used social media platforms in support of their campaigning, and the larger information ecosystem, including how the public engages and interprets campaign information. It’s essential reading for any scholar of political campaign communication.