Governor Greg Abbott gets the worst press on LGBTQ issues, study finds

Policy // Texas politics
Photo by Edward McKinley


Lisa Brannan participates in a protest at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. About 150 people gathered to protest Governor Greg Abbott and rally for abortion rights and people’s rights trans and minorities. (Jay Janner/American Statesman from Austin via AP)

Jay Janner, MBR/Associated Press

Republican Governor Greg Abbott received the most critical media coverage on LGBTQ+ issues of any governor in the country from April 2021 to April, according to research.

The study was conducted by Signal AI, a software company that conducts market research and sells software to analyze online news coverage and track “sentiment” scores, indicating whether the overall content of the coverage is positive or negative. The company is used by 40% of the world’s top 500 companies, a public relations representative said.

Abbott had the worst score, with 209 negative articles and only one positive article. He was followed by Governor Ron Desantis of Florida, Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota – all Republicans – and finally Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Democrat.

The study took place from April 1, 2021 to April 30 of this year. During this time, Abott supported moves by the state legislature to ban trans children from playing sports in high school except in the gender they were assigned at birth, and he called on services state child welfare authorities to investigate child abuse in families where children receive medical care. take care to transition between their genders.

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The positivity or negativity of stories was measured using a model called VADER, which the PR representative described as an industry standard. If there is a negative mention in an article without a positive, the article is coded as negative, and if there is a positive mention without a negative, it is coded as positive. If there are conflicting mentions, they are coded as neutral.

Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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