All (Mayoral) Politics is Local?


Sinclair, Betsy, et al. Working Paper. “All (Mayoral) Politics is Local?”.
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All (Mayoral) Politics is Local?


One of the defining characteristics of modern politics in the United States is the increasing nationalization of elite- and voter-level behavior. Relying on measures of electoral vote shares, previous research has found evidence indicating a significant amount of state-level nationalization. Using an alternative source of data -- the political rhetoric used by mayors, state governors, and Members of Congress on Twitter -- we examine and compare the amount of between-office nationalization throughout the federal system. We find that gubernatorial rhetoric closely matches that of Members of Congress but that there are substantial differences in the topics and content of mayoral speech. These results suggest that, on average, American mayors have largely remained focused on their local mandate. More broadly, our findings suggest a limit to which American politics has become nationalized -- in some cases, all politics remains local.

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Last updated on 07/30/2020