Now that President Biden has formally announced his reelection plans, the time has come to bolster public opinion.
It’s no secret that while President Biden has seen success in his Presidency, the public has been largely unaware or focused on his perceived failures. As President, he has been fighting an uphill battle against a worldwide pandemic, looming recession, and an increasingly divisive political environment. Regardless, he has continued to support the urgent needs of Americans. When we needed financial support, we got the American Rescue Plan, when we needed our kids to be protected, we got the gun safety package.
How can we shift the narrative? Let’s first see where we stand in the polls.
It’s no surprise that since the Delta variant swept through the fall of 2021 frustrations have remained high. People have been overwhelmed with the continued difficulties associated with coming out of a global pandemic, such as rising inflation and mass layoffs.
With a short spike in volume after the release of Biden’s reelection campaign video, it seems this discourse follows similar trends to typical news cycle announcements. Even though interest in Biden’s reelection peaked, this has not overwhelmingly shifted the narratives around his presidency.
In this case, it will be crucial that we start spreading the narratives of success in the places where they can be most impactful. When we look at the discourse across platforms we can see where the holes are and how we might address them based on the audience.
While Twitter holds the highest volume of mentions, it is continually crowded with negative sentiment, unlike TikTok and Instagram.
TikTok and Instagram are instead focusing more on Biden’s values and the dangers that Republicans (Trump) pose to the country.
It is clear from the linguistic breakdowns that Fox News continues to dominate the discourse on Twitter, calling attention to issues of debate participation and concerns over President Biden’s age.
But, when we look at Instagram and TikTok we see a continued anti-Trump narrative ruling the discourse. We know that TikTok users are generally younger and more progressive so it’s no surprise that the song Joe Biden by Bo Burnham immediately began trending following the announcement. This song is not only catchy but highlights the lack of enthusiasm around Biden’s reelection even though they are still likely going to vote for him because of their disdain for Trump.
On Instagram, the trending content highlights a similar theme of avoiding the horrible alternative.
What’s missing from all of these? Reasons to be energized. The success stories. Any type of progress. The continued narrative that the only good reason to vote for Biden is the fact that he is not Trump isn’t enough. It’s clearly not having an impact on voting enthusiasm or his approval rating.
Bottom line: Let’s give them something to talk about. We need to remind people about the steps toward progress that Biden has made. Instagram and TikTok are good places to start. We know being direct and cheeky can work on those platforms, so let’s not be afraid to lean into it. The current lackluster narrative is loud, so now is the time to get ahead of it and start introducing some excitement into the conversation, before people start to look elsewhere for a candidate.