Just like rockstars, some politicians have fandoms. With the rise of social media, these fandoms are becoming more frequent and fervent. As more politicians are turned into celebrity idols by their supporters, important questions arise: how can political fandoms be translated into electoral success? And, most importantly, are political fandoms good or bad for democracy? These questions are addressed as we explore the world of political fandom in this week’s TLDR.
A recent paper published in the International Journal of Communications studied the political fandom of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC), a congresswoman from the Bronx. By conducting a textual analysis of tweets about Ocasio-Cortez, the researchers found that affective identification with the politician is a main driving force behind political fandoms.