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Trump appealed to less internet-connected Republicans than past candidates, Shapiro and others find

August 6, 2018

An article published in the journal PLOS-ONE on July 18 is drawing media attention. In the article, Brown's Jesse Shapiro and Stanford University co-authors Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, present an analysis of voters in the 2016 presidential election in which they develop several lines of evidence that television may have been more important than the internet in driving voters to cast ballots for Donald Trump. Specifically, they find that the proportion of Trump voters who are internet users was significantly lower than had been the case for previous Republican candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain, and that Trump's appeal was greatest among those least connected to online information sources.  Writer Will Oremus's discussion of the article in the July 24 issue of Slate magazine can be found here.