Research Comparison

Map created by Magog the Ogre via Wikimedia. The image from

Image is from

In a battleground state or swing state like Pennsylvania, the media can have more of an affect because of the narrow margins. The 2016 Pennsylvania vote was very important for Trump to win the election. The state voted for Obama in 2012 narrowly taking 52% of the vote. In 2016, the state of Pennsylvania had an extremely close race with Trump and the republicans taking 48.2% of the vote compared to Clinton’s 47.5%. A theory for the cause of this shift is how both Trump and Clinton were portrayed in the media. Political scholars, Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow, argue in a 2017 American Economic Association article that a news consumer puts themselves into a bubble that filters certain information depending on the news outlet they choose. In the case of Adams County, much of the population could have only watched Fox43 which broadcasts conservative favoring news or have read the GettysburgTimes which often gives conservative favoring opinion articles. Conservative news outlets like these exist across all of Pennsylvania, which contributed to the state voting red in 2016.

The Journal of Economic Perspectives: 2019 edition

Another scholarly journal that helps my argument is “Across the Great Divide: How Partisanship and Perceptions of Media Bias Influence Changes in Time Spent with Media” written by Barbara Kaye and Thomas Johnson. This examines how media was used and how it affected the 2012 election. The scholars explain how Obama supporters tended to stick with liberal news outlets, while Romney supporters tended to stick with conservative news outlets. The journal quotes another scholar who argues that people believe the facts by those who present them like reporters. Clearly, they’re is divided viewpoint on media when comparing conservatives and liberal ideologies. Adams County is majority republican, which by this theory means that they believe journalists are “overwhelmingly liberal” and present liberal favoring news. This could be a large factor as to why Trump was so popular in the 2016 Adams County election. Overall, Fox 43 seemed to present the most bias articles. This could explain why Adams County continues to be heavily conservative. When reading the Fox 43 articles, such as “Feminzing McCain, it is clear that is heavily favoring against the Democratic candidate and the Democrats as a party.

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Text Analysis Conclusion

As seen in the Text Analysis page, many of these news outlets produce biased wording that in turn affects the opinions of the consumer. Many of the Fox 43 articles mention Clinton in relation to bad economy that is often seen under democratic administration. Fox 43 also heavily focused on the Clinton email scandal, which was blown into something larger than it was by the news outlet. Trump had scandals that were more common and often more serious, yet Fox 43 either did not report on it or they reported in a way that did not put it in a bad light like they did with the Clinton email scandal.

The graphs give a visual argument that shows what stories both conservative and liberal media tend to focus on. While much of these stories may have some truth behind them, it is the way they are reported on which makes them biased. News writers, journalists, and anchors should not have a personal opinion on the story that is seen in the article. In both the liberal and conservative media, it is clear that opinions on the issues are present.

The most obvious conclusion I drew from the text analysis is that the stories about a candidate of a different ideology are always negative. Fox 43 articles or the Gettysburg Times, such as the articles Clinton aide in 2008 email describes ad to ‘feminize’ McCain and Clinton’s FBI Investigation: What you need to know, all talked about Clinton in regard to one of Clinton’s negative stories: her emails.

The liberal news sources, such as some opinion articles in the Gettysburg Times, both always presented articles on Trump in a bad light. Trump has a shady background regarding his taxes, and liberal media sources used that as a tool to demonize him.

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Voyant Tools made this analysis very doable. Without the program, the text analysis visuals and graphs would not have been possible.

More on media bias

Trump on media bias during campaign

This is a segment by the news source Al Jazeera. This clip features Trump’s view on mainstream media and how his rhetoric on the subject sparked violence between Democrats and Republicans

How the news is portrayed can be a threat on democracy. Whether the claims be true or not, using the media as either good or bad to affect your campaign should not be a common theme in a democratic election. Here, Trump is using the media as a tool to make people think that the other side (Democrats) are trying to rig the election. This makes people, especially Republicans, make rash voting decisions based of claims that do no have much to do with actual politics.

Works Cited

“WPMT FOX43.” WPMT FOX43, “Official Site.”,

“NewspaperArchive®: Genealogy & Family History Records.” NewspaperArchive,

Kaye, Barbara K., and Thomas J. Johnson. “Across the Great Divide: How Partisanship and Perceptions of Media Bias Influence Changes in Time Spent with Media.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 60, no. 4, 2016, pp. 604–623., doi:10.1080/08838151.2016.1234477.

Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew Gentzkow. “Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 31, no. 2, 2017, pp. 211–235. JSTOR,

“York, Lancaster and Harrisburg PA News, Weather and Sports – WGAL Channel 8.” WGAL,

Smith, Glen. “The Timing of Partisan Media Effects during a Presidential Election.” Political Research Quarterly, vol. 69, no. 4, 2016, pp. 655–666.,

“Flickr.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 15 July 2019,

“Vanderbilt Television News Archive.” Home | Vanderbilt Television News Archive,