Research Mentor(s): Joshua Pasek, Associate Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Communication and Media, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 4 (2pm-2:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 5
In the weeks leading up to an election, any given news story can take off and affect what people are thinking about the various candidates. This study utilized open ended survey data to try to gain a better understanding of which stories took off and how they affected voters’ perceptions. In 2020, no story dominated quite like Covid-19 and the federal response to it and the issues it posed. This project looked to compare survey responses that mentioned Covid-19 in some way. Special attention was payed to what sorts of things were discussed in connection to the disease, whether it be denial/disinformation or the economy. Additionally, data was coded to take note of whether a survey respondent made any mention of either of the candidates or what their plan on voting was. Finally, with all of the above in mind, conclusions were drawn about connections between positive or negative associations between a candidate and the pandemic. This research can be later applied to other coding for open-ended survey data and how it can be used to understand the sentiment behind respondents’ answers.