Straight to the people
Donald Trump’s rhetorical style on Twitter in the 2016 U.S. presidential election
Research has shown that Donald Trump’s rhetorical style on Twitter differs significantly during the time he was a citizen, a presidential candidate and a president (Ott and Dickinson 2019). The aim of the current study is to characterize his rhetorical style on Twitter during the 2016 presidential race, in light of its potential to influence future campaigns in the U.S. and outside, and its implications on political and public discourse. The study presents a comprehensive analysis of Trump’s Twitter habits, using statistical analyses and a content analysis of all tweets posted on Trump’s Twitter account from the date he announced his presidential candidacy until he won the election. Analysing the results using framing theory reveals Trump’s main campaigning strategies on Twitter:(a) negative campaigning against his rivals and the establishment; (b) bypassing the traditional media; and (c) self-promotion. Trump used his Twitter far less frequently to express his vision or future plans.
Keywords: Donald Trump, Twitter, political campaign, content analysis
Published online: 04 September 2020
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