Sept. 20: Analysis of Twitter Use by 2018 U.S. Senate Candidates is Topic of 2021 Moore Lecture

Monday, September 20, 2021
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Ostrander Auditorium and Virtual

Mankato, Minn. – The 47th annual Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecture at Minnesota State University, Mankato will feature a presentation by faculty members Kevin Parsneau and Scott Granberg-Rademacker on Monday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. that analyzes Twitter use by 2018 U.S. Senate candidates.

The presentation is free and open to the public and will be delivered in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union. Masks are required for those attending the lecture in person. Free parking is available after 6:30 p.m. in University Gold Lots. NOTE: Any changes to the in-person event because of COVID-19 restrictions will be announced in a phone recording on the day of the event. Please call 507-389-1242 for the latest information.

The lecture will also be livestreamed at

Parsneau and Granberg-Rademacker, professors in the Department of Government, which is part of Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, provided the following preview of their lecture, titled “Let’s Get Ready to Tweet! An Analysis of Twitter Use by 2018 Senate Candidates”:

“We will discuss our findings of Senate campaigns’ use of Twitter in 2018 and relate them to initial findings about the 2020 election. While political science has extensive research on campaign communication through media, public appearances, and paid advertisement, social media has revolutionized messaging by providing free communication instantly with followers and allowing those supporters to further spread the message. We gathered every tweet from major-party Senate candidates from Jan. 1, 2018, through the Midterm Election Day and used an Artificial Neural Network with a dictionary of 475 common terms to examine how Senate candidates used social media through the analytical lens of four categories: policy tweets, organizational tweets, attack tweets and tweets about President Trump. Our presentation will show how the state differences, party affiliation, race competitiveness, and Trump’s 2016 state votes affected decisions to mobilize voters to campaign events, attack opponents, discuss policies or talk about Trump. It will also show what these findings along with data from the 2020 election tell us about 2020. The core issue is that social media campaigning is here to stay, it differs from traditional campaigning and it changes how candidates and voters engage in politics. We will share results that might confirm what people expect, some that are surprising and some that are entertaining, interesting, and part of the revolutionary newness of social media and candidates being inventive.”

For more information about the lecture, please contact Julie Joerg by phone at 507-389-1242 or by email at

The annual Douglas R. Moore Lecture celebrates excellence in research at Minnesota State Mankato. This will be the 47th such lecture, and the 34th named after Moore, who established the event.

Moore was president of then-Mankato State University from 1974 to 1978. His tenure saw the transformation of Mankato State College into a university, as well as the consolidation of the lower and upper campuses and construction of a new administration building.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,604 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.


Julie Joerg

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