Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn asks Twitter users what they think of Obamacare, discovers a lot of people like it

When asking for Twitter feedback, don't be surprised at results that are different from what you expect

By Matthew Rozsa

Published January 5, 2017 5:07PM (EST)

  (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Twitter is not a very reliable tool for gathering accurate polling information, in large part because anyone can read your tweet and reply to it. This is a lesson that Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Republican from Tennessee, learned the hard way when she posted a Twitter poll asking her constituents if they'd support a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Of the 7,968 votes that Blackburn's poll received, 16 percent said yes and 84 percent said no — meaning the overwhelming majority wanted to keep Obamacare.

It's unlikely that most of the respondents were from Blackburn's district, where she was reelected by over 50 percent last year. Her tweet was picked up and retweeted by White House spokesman Eric Schultz, according to The Hill. Still, her experience is still humbling in light of the GOP's ongoing effort to fast-track a repeal of President Barack Obama's signature health care reform legislation.

Blackburn's use of Twitter as a vehicle for advancing this cause is perhaps a reflection of President-elect Donald Trump's own high profile tweets related to the subject.




Requests sent to Blackburn's office on whether the responses changed her mind have not been answered. But still, maybe it's time to stop tweeting — at least when it comes to using it as an avenue for policymaking.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Marsha Blackburn Obamacare Twitter