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Expand chart
Reproduced from a Pew Research Center report; Note: Shaded regions represent 95% confidence bands for the estimated trends; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new Pew Research Center study finds that after the 2016 election, Democrats in Congress posted on Facebook more often than Republicans, which is a startling difference from prior to the 2016 election.

Why it matters: The same Pew study from 2017 found that before Donald Trump became president, Republicans were much more likely to leverage social distribution networks, like Facebook, to communicate with their constituencies over press releases.

  • This was particularly true for some of the most partisan Republicans, like members of the Liberty/Freedom Caucus. Members of the Liberty/Freedom caucus shared more than 20% more news on Facebook than their Progressive Democratic Caucus counterparts before the election.

Between the lines: Some political experts Axios has spoken to — including high-level Democratic Hill staffers during the Obama years — argue that Democrats during that time were more focused on message substance over delivery, which is why they often took to traditional modes of communication, like press releases.

Go deeper

19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.