It’s not just that Twitter traffic doesn’t appear to reflect the priorities of the Democratic electorate. Spending too much time on the platform can be actively misleading about the state of the party, as you can see in the polling surge of Joe Biden, a man despised by the online left. Biden has fewer Twitter followers than the first-term congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and less than half as many as Senator Bernie Sanders.
He’s utterly at odds with the style of progressive politics that dominates the internet, failing to properly apologize for touching women in ways that made them uncomfortable, offering half measures on climate change, and praising “my Republican friends in the House and Senate.” But among Democratic voters, he is leading the field by double digits.
In some ways the digital disconnect is surprising. The Democratic Party has more young voters than Republicans do, and young people are more likely to be on Twitter. The party is supposed to be the more tech savvy one — it was progressive Democrats who coined the word “netroots.”
But Democrats are also far more heterogeneous than Republicans in terms of both identity and ideology.