The proportion of types of political comments about the pandemic
from sampled social media users. (One Country graphic)
President Trump's curtailment of daily press briefings seems to have improved his standing among rural social-media users in six swing states (Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), according to a data analysis by One Country, a nonprofit focused on rural voter outreach for Democrats, Tim Marema reports for The Daily Yonder.

Social-media analysis outfit Impact Social conducted the study, cataloging online social-media sentiment in six periods between March 15 and May 4. In late April, many social-media users criticized Trump for statements suggesting disinfectants and ultraviolet lights could treat covid-19. "Since then, Trump reduced the number of White House briefings and changed their format. The strategy seems to have changed the public social-media comments in rural parts of the six battleground states in the study," Marema reports. "But anti-Trump sentiment has been the largest category of political comment in every report since the study began in mid-March. This week, more than a third of political comments criticize how President Trump is handling the pandemic."

The study notes that the proportion of positive social-media comments about Trump also increased because his supporters remained active online while the overall number of pandemic-related rural social-media posts declined, Marema reports.