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Musk's Twitter gains Republican support and loses favorability with Democrats

A Morning Consult Brand Intelligence study shows that the businessman's management and personal policy preferences are popular with Republican voters.

Imagen de Elon Musk con el logo de Twitter pintado con los colores del icónico elefante del Partido Republicano.

(Cordon Press / Voz Media)

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Twitter is turning red. Ever since billionaire Elon Musk announced that he planned to buy the social network a year ago, the platform lost Democrats' trust but gained that of Republicans.

Approximately 43% of Democrats trusted Twitter the month before Musk became the company's largest shareholder, according to a study by Morning Consult Brand Intelligence. Only 24% of Republicans trusted Twitter at the time.

This trend continued until Musk took the reins. Then, for the first time, Republicans said they trusted the social network more than Democrats, although the difference was minimal: 30% vs. 27%.

Percentage of U.S. adults who trust Twitter.

Data from April of this year also shows a slight difference, with 35% of Republican respondents acknowledging that they trust the social network versus 34% of Democrats.

Musk's management and his personal political preferences are the reason behind this change, according to the same study. As an example of the latter, Morning Consult recalled that a month after acquiring the platform, he announced that he would vote Republican.

It seems that two of Musk's actions pleased Republicans: the unblocking of accounts that had been censored for allegedly violating the platform's rules - such as Donald Trump's - and his clashes with liberal media, specifically with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NPR and The New York Times.

However, Musk's management may be more important than his personal affiliation. In December, Republican support fell when he suspended various journalists' accounts who had criticized him. Their trust and favorability of the platform decreased.

Perception of Musk's other companies

"Whereas impressions of Twitter have always been deeply divided between Democrats and Republicans, Tesla and SpaceX were largely nonpartisan with similar impressions on either side," analyst Jordan Marlatt wrote in a report on Musk's polarizing effect.

According to the latest data, this is no longer the case. The expert revealed that late last year Republicans began to view Tesla and SpaceX more favorably, although less so than Twitter. The opposite was true among Democrats.

Change in net favorability between October and November 2022

Chart showing the change in net favorability between October and November 2022 of Democrats and Republicans toward Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX.