Twitter Is Gaining Trust With Republicans, but Losing It With Democrats in the Musk Era
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Since the billionaire became associated with the company -- stemming back as far as February 2022 when Musk started working his way to becoming Twitter’s largest shareholder -- opinions of the platform among Democrats and Republicans have flipped: Favorability of and trust in Twitter among Democrats have dropped, while both improved in the eyes of Republicans, according to data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence.
Twitter Favorability Slips Among Democrats, Rises Among Republicans Since Musk’s Investments in the Company
Musk’s increased involvement in Twitter marked changes in trust, favorability
- Favorability for Twitter among Democrats sat at 47% in December 2021, but dropped at nearly every turn of Musk’s increased involvement, falling to 42% in February 2022 after Musk began buying up shares of the platform and sliding to as low as 33% in November, after Musk officially became owner.
- Favorability for Twitter among Republicans, meanwhile, has improved, climbing to 35% in April 2023 from 29% in December 2021. Favorability jumped 7 percentage points among Republicans from October to December of last year, following Musk’s move to close on his purchase.
- While Republicans briefly had a more favorable view of Twitter in February, Democrats still have a slightly more positive view of the platform as of recent, with nearly 2 in 5 expressing a favorable view of Twitter, according to the most recent data.
Since Musk’s Major Investments, Trust in Twitter Rises Among Republicans, Falls Among Democrats
- Trust in Twitter saw similar declines among Democrats, dropping from 41% in December 2021 to as low as 27% in November 2022 as Musk took control. It has increased since then, but still sits at just 34%.
- Just 1 in 4 Republicans said they trusted Twitter in December 2021, prior to Musk having any association with the company. That climbed to 30% by November 2022 and sits at 35% now.
- As of April 2023, trust in Twitter is near-identical among political partisans, with 35% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats expressing trust in the platform.
Musk’s personal politics, policies drive partisan divide
As Musk was engaged in his attempt to purchase Twitter, he was also undergoing a public political transformation. About one month after Musk’s initial bid for the company, the billionaire announced that he would vote Republican, claiming Democrats represented a party of “division and hate.”
Shortly after Musk completed his takeover of Twitter, he began restoring accounts that had previously been banned from the platform — a move that was viewed primarily as benefiting people associated with parts of the conservative movement who had previously been banned for violating rules preventing hate speech or the spread of election misinformation.
Musk has also taken issue with different media organizations on Twitter. In December, Musk suspended a number of journalists who had been critical of his leadership, claiming without evidence that they had revealed location information about him.
Earlier this month, Musk continued his combative posturing toward media he views as left-leaning, removing the verification badge of The New York Times. Musk has also started labeling publicly funded media like NPR as “state-affiliated media,” a label previously reserved for identifying state-operated outlets in China and Russia. The label was changed to “government-funded media,” but NPR and a number of other outlets have decided to quit using the platform over the controversy.
Results are based on daily surveys conducted between Dec. 1, 2021, and April 17, 2023, among an average sample of 35,808 respondents across a total of 486 polls, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point.