FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2019
REPORT SHOWS TRUMP’S RURAL DEFENDERS DOMINATING ONLINE IMPEACHMENT DISCUSSION
GOP Talking Points Continue to Break Through the Online Conversation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, One Country Project (OCP) released the third installment of its impeachment social media listening project, which analyzes how rural Americans active on social media are discussing the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s numerous misdeeds.
“As we continue to listen to rural Americans discussing impeachment, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Republicans are successfully delivering their talking points to rural communities across the United States,” said founding board member and former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “We are seeing more organization from the president’s supporters and that’s showing through in our data.”
“What we’ve seen is the portion of people talking about the impeachment in a negative tone increasing because Democrats are not explaining and defending the impeachment process. This opens up an opportunity for Republicans to sow doubt and question the transparency of the inquiry. Because of this, there’s been a rise on the process being seen as ‘unfair.’
“Conversations in favor of impeachment remained largely unchanged from previous reports, and while rural Democrats support impeachment, much of it comes from an anti-Trump perspective. As a result, these supporters are not defending the process from accusations of corruption.
“In contrast, Trump supporters are actively working to create a surround sound of messaging to defend the president and are controlling the conversation with talk of corruption and lack of transparency. Simply put, Democrats need to get organized and explain the merits of their process and how it will root out the corrupt acts of President Trump.”
OCP observed social media traffic from October 15 to 27, and the analysis identified a few key preliminary insights:
- The last tracker showed sentiment was roughly divided into thirds among pro, anti, and neutral comments. That balance has shifted. Pro-impeachment discussion has declined by 7%, while anti-impeachment discussion has held relatively steady, increasing by 1%. However, neutral discussion has increased by 6%. This may indicate that Trump defenders are effectively circling the wagons by reiterating top-down message points while individual, but disorganized discussion among impeachment advocates has allowed counterarguments to create doubts about the process.
- Arguments for impeachment have changed little from the previous period. These discussions are driven by organic expressions of support rather than politicos attempting to control the narrative.
- Discussions against impeachment are largely dominated by Republican influencers attempting to focus attention on what they feel is an opaque and corrupt inquiry.
The full report lays out additional details on observations and the results of the analysis.
This is the latest of an ongoing series of rural social listening memos and data released by OCP.
About One Country Project
The One Country Project, led by former Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, is working to promote greater opportunities for rural communities and ensure leaders earn their support. One Country is reengaging with rural Americans, serving as a clearinghouse of research and information for rural Americans, and working to ensure leaders regain trust by fighting for these communities. To learn more, visit the website, OneCountryProject.org.