The Partisan Impact on Local Government Dissemination of COVID-19 Information: Assessing U.S. County Government Websites

Michael A. Hansen, Isabelle Johansson, Kalie Sadowski, Joseph Blaszcynski, Sarah Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between local government dissemination of COVID-19 information and partisanship. The unit of analysis is all official county government websites in the United States. In particular, we investigate if there is a correlation between the overall partisanship of a county and whether a county government's website 1) mentions COVID-19, and 2) provides safety instructions concerning COVID-19. We hypothesize that mass partisanship will impact the probability that a county government's website provides information related to the coronavirus. We find that a larger share of Democratic voters in a county is associated with an increase in the probability that a county government's website mentions COVID-19 and provides safety instructions for their residents. The results hold even after controlling for population density, internet subscriptions, and COVID-19 cases and deaths. The finding indicates that citizens' access to information, even on matters of public health, are partially a consequence of partisanship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-162
JournalCanadian Journal of Political Science
Volume54
Issue number1
Early online date2020 Oct 12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Keywords

  • County websites
  • Covid-19
  • Local governments
  • Partisanship

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