Strategic Political Communication Across Channels: Theory and Data

Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Keller 3-180
Sanmay Das (Washington University in St. Louis)
Members of Congress in the United States communicate ideology strategically on different channels; while they are consistent in communicating partisanship (measured by the ease of classifying them as belonging to the Democratic or Republican party based on text) across different channels (e.g. social media, press releases, or the House floor), they are much less consistent in communicating ideology within party. For example, the same legislator may present as a moderate Democrat on social media, while presenting as significantly more liberal in their press releases. In this talk I will present initial work on trying to understand the determinants of this kind of strategic mislocation. I will describe a spatial voting model in which voters may consume media on different channels, discuss what the model predicts in terms of candidate positioning across channels, and tie the model to empirical predictors of mislocation.