Democratic lawmakers bounce back on Facebook

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.