Campaigning on YouTube: Messaging and Online Communication in the 2016 Presidential Nomination Process
Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. Science, Technology and Society Program
The Internet has become an important media environment in the context of political campaigns. This research examines YouTube, the most popular website for video content, in order to understand how the platform fits into the broader media landscape and analyzes the messaging content of leading candidates seeking the 2016 nomination. It tests several hypotheses about the YouTube content posted by the campaigns of Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton, during the period from the announcement of their candidacies through February 10, 2016. The research finds that campaigns upload varying amounts and types of content and that they experience substantially differing levels of popularity. It finds that some campaigns primarily upload news coverage of their candidates, while others primarily post content produced specifically for the Internet. YouTube content highlights many policy realms, but among this sample, foreign policy and economic topics are the most popular. Campaigns utilize YouTube in varying ways and this investigation leads to a broader question: how relevant is YouTube in the age of competing video platforms such as Facebook?
YouTube, Political Campaigns, Video, Political Communication, Digital Campaigning
Recommended CitationKrieger, Abraham, "Campaigning on YouTube: Messaging and Online Communication in the 2016 Presidential Nomination Process" (2016). Honors Theses. Paper 807.