Hot-Button Issues Are The Key to Political Traction

Political Trends 2022

People are more interested in politics than ever these days, and it definitely shows up in online engagement as our audiences look for answers on how to get involved with the topics that are important to them. 

These rapidly shifting trends can be hard to follow, with news stories popping up every day that shift the tide of popular opinion. We’ve checked out the data on the current political climate, taking note of everything from which days of the week internet users engage the most with politics to the current issues that are most important to voters—read on for our findings! 

When and Where Political Engagement Happens

Percent Share of Engagement by a U.S. Elections Audience by Days of the Week (%):

Most political engagement occurs in the middle of the week, peaking on Wednesdays with Tuesdays and Thursdays following close behind.

According to our data, most political engagement occurs in the middle of the week, peaking on Wednesdays with Tuesdays and Thursdays following close behind. Internet users seem to take a slight break on the weekends, perhaps getting away from the computer to spend time with friends and family. 

Percent Share of Engagement by a U.S. Elections Audience on Social Media Platforms:

81% of engagement with current and upcoming elections was on Facebook
18% of engagement with current and upcoming elections was on Twitter
1% of engagement with current and upcoming elections was on Instagram

We’re also seeing that some social media sites are more political than others! 81% of engagement with current and upcoming elections takes place on Facebook, with Twitter trailing behind at 18% and only a mere 1% of election engagement occurring on Instagram. 

Political Parties Remain Divided

Online Behavior by U.S. Democrat and Republican Audiences:

Democrat audiences index highly on social issues, such as climate change, drug policy, civil rights, and education; whereas Republican audiences are engaging more with topics like the economy, counterterrorism, taxes, and military.

It can feel like the political climate is more polarized than ever—and our data supports the fact that different political parties prioritize different issues, although there is some overlap. For example, Democrat audiences index highly on social issues, such as climate change, drug policy, civil rights, and education; whereas Republican audiences are engaging more with topics like the economy, counterterrorism, taxes, and military. However, both parties are over-indexing on important societal issues like immigration, health care, law enforcement, and social issues and advocacy.

Curiosity About Insurrectionists on January 6

Percent Share of Engagement With Topics Relating to Jan. 6th by a U.S. January 6th Hearing Audience (%):

Most interest is centered on the participants in the riot, with 56% of online engagement centered around the insurrectionists.

The Capitol riots of January 6, 2021, shook the nation, and the current hearings around the event have online audiences curious to know more. Most interest is centered on the participants in the riot, with 56% of online engagement centered around the insurrectionists. Repercussions for democracy are taking a backseat to the human interest element of the events, as only 7% of engagement focuses on the effect on our democracy. 

New Voters Are Politically Active and Passionate

Over-Indexing Political Categories for a New Voter Audience:

New voters are engaging with lobbying 8.4 times more than the average ShareThis user.

New voters are ready to engage with the political world. Our data shows a 3,095% increase year-over-year with keywords like “first-time voter” and “how to vote.” This same group of new voters is highly engaged with topics like lobbying, civil rights, campaigns and elections, and discrimination and identity relations. Based on the engagement trends we’re seeing, it looks like these new voters won’t be showing up to the polls uninformed!

Public Sentiment About Law Enforcement is Affected by Current Events

Sentiment for Police by the U.S. ShareThis Audiences (%):

Between March and July of 2022, public sentiment for police has largely been negative (39%) or neutral (55%).

After the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others who should be known and remembered around the world, voters are highly interested in law enforcement reform. The slow police response to a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas has heightened this interest. Between March and July of 2022, public sentiment for police has largely been negative or neutral, with positive sentiment going down from 7% to 6%. Our data have shown a 31% increase in engagement with law enforcement-related terms such as “police violence,” “police shootings,” and “defund the police.”

Changes to Abortion Access Drive Interest in Midterms

Top 10 Over-Indexing States For 2022 Elections by a U.S. Elections Audience:

Tennessee (7.7x), Nebraska (4.4x), and West Virginia (3.4x) are leading in election engagement.

When the Supreme Court ruled that Roe vs. Wade was not constitutional in June 2022, abortion access became an issue of top concern for many voters. Some states had already implemented trigger laws to make abortions difficult to access in the case of a Roe vs. Wade upset, and many of these states are showing higher-than-baseline interest in the 2022 midterm elections—Tennessee, Nebraska, and West Virginia are leading the pack in terms of engagement. This issue will clearly be a big factor in voting decisions in the upcoming election. 

Voters Are Concerned About Government Institutions

Percent Share of Engagement with Government Institutions by the U.S. ShareThis Audience (%):

"Filibuster" is seeing a weekly average growth in engagement of 26%. "Supreme Court" is seeing a weekly average growth in engagement of 6%. "Electoral College" is seeing a weekly average growth in engagement of 5%.

Our country is in a state of change, and many of our audiences are wondering if that means it is time to make changes to our governmental institutions, too. Engagement with the filibuster is up by 26% week-over-week, and our data also shows heightened engagement with the Supreme Court and the electoral college. 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt we are in a season of many political changes and hot-button issues, and it can be hard to keep track of the flow of political opinion. If ShareThis data can help you better understand and serve your target audience, reach out today to learn more. 

About the author
ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

About Us

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.