Populism and the 2016 American election: Evidence from official press releases and Twitter

Corina Lacatus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the past year, academics and mass media alike have spoken of populism as a necessary condition for Donald Trump’s success in the 2016 US presidential election. Despite the growing interest in populism for understanding the election, we have yet to provide a systematic analysis of the official campaign discourse and its use of populist rhetoric. To fill this gap, this article proposes an analysis of official campaign statements based on original text data from press releases published from January to June 2016 on campaign websites and tweets published on the official accounts of the three main presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. Data show that the Sanders and Trump campaigns relied on populist discourse to promote two opposing electoral agendas on the left and the right of the political spectrum. Clinton made limited use of populist discourse, mostly in response to the other counter-candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-228
JournalPS: Political Science & Politics
Volume52
Issue number2
Early online date22 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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