Given at MPSA 2012
Public officials’ communication has been explored at length in terms of how such their statements are conveyed in the traditional media, but minimal research has been done to examine their communication via social media. This paper explores the kinds of statements U.S. officials are making on Twitter in terms of the actions they are trying to achieve. We then analyze the correlation between these statements, Congressional communication network structures, and voting behavior. Our analysis leverages over 29,000 tweets by members of Congress in conjunction with existing DW-NOMINATE voting behavior data. We find that pro-social and self-promoting statements correlate with Congressional voting records but that position within the Congressional communication network does not correlate with voting behavior.