Partisan Endorsement Experiments Do Not Affect Mass Opinion on COVID-19

9 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2020

See all articles by Shana Kushner Gadarian

Shana Kushner Gadarian

Syracuse University

Sara Wallace Goodman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Political Science

Thomas B. Pepinsky

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: April 13, 2020

Abstract

The partisan politics and polarized messaging surrounding COVID-19 have attracted wide interest. We present the findings of a novel survey experiment, fielded March 21-23, 2020, on a nationally-representative sample of Americans. We found no statistically significant effects of partisan endorsements or messaging from President Trump on a wide range of health behaviors and policy attitudes. We speculate on potential explanations for these null results, such as America’s saturated media environment or heterogeneous effects by party. Our results suggest that priming experiments face serious obstacles when implemented at the same time as a national crisis is unfolding.

Keywords: COVID19, coronavirus, endorsement experiments, survey experiments, partisanship, polarization, Trump

Suggested Citation

Kushner Gadarian, Shana and Goodman, Sara Wallace and Pepinsky, Thomas B., Partisan Endorsement Experiments Do Not Affect Mass Opinion on COVID-19 (April 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3574605 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3574605

Shana Kushner Gadarian

Syracuse University ( email )

900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

Sara Wallace Goodman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Political Science ( email )

Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Thomas B. Pepinsky (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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