Did Elon Musk's Twitter Purchase Secure A Trump Victory For 2024?

Elon Musk purchased Twitter Inc., now X, on Oct. 27, 2022. Since then, there's been a notable change in the overall dynamic of the platform. 

Twitter was once largely dominated by left-wing voices, with many on the right being banned for failing to comply with rules or norms set by Twitter. For example, many accounts could be banned or suspended for using incorrect pronouns, a policy that Musk briefly reimplemented before repealing. 

Many leading conservative voices and politicians were banned on Twitter before Musk took over. Former President Donald Trump, radio host Alex Jones, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), news satire website The Babylon Bee, comedian and actress Kathy Griffin, Canadian psychologist and author Jordan Peterson, activist group Project Veritas and social media personality Andrew Tate were among those suspended on Twitter but reinstated under X. 

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Since taking over, Musk regularly interacts with conservative people on the platform in a positive way. In some instances, he interacts with people on the left but this is largely in a critical manner. Some of the top voices on the platform now include journalists Ian Miles Cheong and Ashley St. Clair, Libs of TikTok, End Wokeness and author Andy Ngo. Each of these accounts posts largely conservative content, and Musk has reposted from each of these accounts at one point in the past week. Other interactions include reposts of Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, Fox News and many posts from his own companies like SpaceX and X. 

It's unclear whether this has impacted recent polling for the 2024 election, but there are signs. While these could be explained by trends associated with the larger election cycle, the data tells an interesting story. 

Since Oct. 28, 2022, President Joe Biden's disapproval rating has grown by 3.8% from 51.9% to 55.7% and saw a trend reversal from a falling disapproval rating in October 2022. 

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Trump's unfavorability rating has decreased while his favorability rating continues to grow. During the same time, Trump's approval rating has grown from 39.2% to 42.7% while his unfavorable rating dropped from 53.9% to 52.8%. 

The contrast can also be seen in polling. Trump's victory in 2016 was a surprise to many, as every aggregate poll going into the 2016 election had former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton winning over Trump by a respectable margin. Of the 37 polls conducted from the beginning of November leading up to the 2016 election, only three had Trump winning and all were a win by a very narrow margin.  

Similar polling was seen going into the 2020 election but proved accurate with Biden clinching the election by a narrow margin in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia. 

Contrasting this with the ongoing 2024 election, of the 14 most recent polls conducted, only two have Biden winning, with Trump winning 11 of them by margins as high as 6 points, according to poll analysis company FiveThirtyEight.

It's unclear what impact Musk's purchase of X has had on the political landscape. For example, these trends could be explained by voters' general disposition to vote for an opposing candidate when they dislike the current administration’s policies. However, it's unprecedented to have a previous president lose reelection only to begin gaining in the polls again. 

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