In this paper, we seek to understand the contemporary power of the presidential “bully pulpit”—the persuasive power of the nation’s highest elected office—in a context of shifting patterns of mediation. We do so by examining a major social media communication platform (Twitter) for evidence of changes in public opinion before and after President Obama’s high-profile statements on net neutrality in November 2014. This study includes novel and comprehensive data on the effects of a presidential announcement on public opinion. With social media playing a growing role in both electoral and policy discourse, this paper offers a methodological foundation for future studies in the changing nature of the presidential bully pulpit and the role of social media as a tool of mediation in political communication.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by Oscar M Ruebhausen Fund under Internal Yale Law School grant.
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis.
- big data
- bully pulpit
- machine learning
- public opinion
- social media