Rural Buzz: Tulsa Rally Ramps up Political Commentary in Social Media

The Daily Yonder | By Tim Marema | June 29, 2020

The proportion of rural, social-media posts focused on the politics of the pandemic increased sharply in the most recent study period, which included President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

From June 14-21, nearly half of all personal, public social-media posts about the pandemic originating in rural parts of six swing states dealt with politics. In the previous week, political commentary constituted about one-quarter of all social media in the study. Political comments have averaged about 30% of all comments on each week in the study, which began the week of March 21.

The Tulsa rally occurred June 20, so this week’s report includes discussion on whether holding the rally was prudent, the president’s comments at the rally itself, and the followup to the event.

Also during that time period, Black Lives Matter demonstrations continued to dominate the news.

The study examines public social media posted by individuals in rural parts of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The study is commissioned by One Country, a Democrat-led 501(c)4 organization that is encouraging Democrats to do more to engage rural voters. Social Impact conducts the research for One Country.