Study: Trump Did Worse Among Internet Users Even With Claims Of Russian Interference

Jessica Kramer | Contributor

President Donald Trump did worse among internet users than previous Republican presidential candidates, according to a study published on July 18.

The study, A Note On Internet Use And The 2016 Presidential Election Outcome, showed Trump did better with those who use the internet the least compared to other GOP candidates, according to PsyPost.

“Given the amount of discussion surrounding the use of the internet around the 2016 election (e.g., candidates’ Twitter use, Russian interference, and fake news), it seemed like a pertinent question for understanding current events,” explained author Levi Boxell, according to PsyPost.

The authors of the study collected data from the American National Election Studies from 1996 to 2016. The data was a compilation of various questions, including ones based on demographics and politics, as well as internet use, according to PsyPost.

“We compare trends in the Republican share of the vote between likely and unlikely internet users, and between actual internet users and non-users. Relative to prior years, the Republican share of the vote in 2016 was as high or higher among the groups least active online,” according to the study.

“Of course, this doesn’t exclude the internet having any role in the outcome. Specifically, there are three assumptions needed to conclude that the internet did not advantage Trump in the 2016 election: ‘(i) the internet affects elections only by changing the partisan vote share among those active on the internet, (ii) the effects of the internet on voting behavior are identical across individuals, and (iii) no other time-varying factors affected the difference in Republican vote share between internet-active and internet-inactive groups,'” according to Boxwell. (RELATED: Study: Religion Curbs Sexual Aggression In Men)

Additional research will have to look into how this affected the 2016 election, according to PsyPost.

“For example, to what extent did Twitter discourse shape traditional media coverage? And, would internet users have voted deferentially against Trump regardless of the internet?” said Boxwell.

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