Analyzing Social Media Network and Sentiment Data to understand Elite and Public Sentiment of Public Programs

Eric Stokan, Department of Political Science
Ian Anson, Department of Political Science

Little is known about public sentiment with respect to large scale public programs aimed at improving economic and social conditions such as Opportunity Zones, Community Development Block Grant, Film Tax Credits, etc. Using more than 2 million Tweets, along with social network data of those making statements on these policies, joined with elite and influencer sentiment, news source data, and government reports over the last 5 years, this project seeks to understand the role and timing of public sentiment with changes in news coverage and politician statements. This will help us understand how the general public may influence the conventional narrative around these policies and thereby impact policy change.