4 Days before the 2016 US Presidential Election, what does the Twitterwonk Model show?
Here are monthly, weekly, and daily views starting June 2015 through October 2016.
The model, which is a function of Twitter activity, shows Trump in the lead.
While the model correctly predicted the primaries, jury is still out whether the same dynamic applies to the general election. Regardless, 2016 will be remembered as an election in which social media, on both the left and the right, played a dominant role. I believe social media will play an even greater role in future elections, shaping political communication for decades to come, as well as becoming a primary source for the measurement of public opinion. In the meantime, let’s see how this election plays out in the remaining days…I predict many will be surprised at how close the results turn out to be.
As of January 27, 2016, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in the Iowa and New Hampshire polls (Real Clear Politics). Here we present how Trump hit, Hillary fired back and left the goal open for The Bern.
Displaying a composite score, calculated with Twitter data in a process outlined in my previous post, the visualization presents the decline that allowed Bernie Sanders to rise above Hillary Clinton.
It started on December 8, 2015, when Donald Trump released his statement on preventing muslim immigration. Over the next two weeks, Hillary Clinton would respond to Trump in a fury of statements on foreign policy, ultimately leading to her decline. And while Bernie Sanders also responded to Trump, he did not waver from domestic policy, which better resonates with the compassionate tone of both Democrat candidates. Christmas brought a change in tone for Hillary, but by this point it was too late: Sanders had already gained the lead. Here are the kind of statements on domestic policy that reversed Hillary’s decline.
“There’s no reason for teachers and nurses to ever pay higher tax rates than top CEOS.”
“It shouldn’t be so hard to be a working parent.”
“We need to make it easier for women to get ahead at work while still being there for their families.”
NYMAG just published a profile on Trump supporters and the appeal to “Testicular Fortitude”, i.e. strength. While many pages could be spent on the topic, it rings clear that the Commander-in-Chief must be compassionate at home and ruthless abroad. A word no short of “destroy” is expected in reference to America’s enemies (used by President Obama, Trump, and Sanders), especially during times of uncertainty. Hillary’s gift for empathizing with the other has made her a skillful Secretary of State, and it may have cost her The White House.
Celebrity businessman Donald Trump has single handedly disrupted the right-wing political playbook with a winners and losers worldview delivered through a charismatic, entertaining social media feed, shaping what remains of mainstream media. Find below his Top 16 Tweets since 6/16, when Trump announced he would run for President.
- Notice that illegal immigrants will be given ObamaCare and free college tuition but nothing has been mentioned about our VETERANS.
- My prayers are with the victims and hostages in the horrible Paris attacks. May God be with you all.
- Merry Christmas to all. Have a great day and have a really amazing year. Together, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! It will be done!
- We need much tougher, much smarter leadership – and we need it NOW!
- Al-Shabbab, not ISIS, just made a video on me – they all will as front-runner & if I speak out against them, which I must. Hillary lied!
- What is our President doing?
- I skipped a speech given years ago at Mar-a-Lago by dopey @GeorgeW because he’s BORING and he never forgot!
- Man shot inside Paris police station. Just announced that terror threat is at highest level. Germany is a total mess-big crime. GET SMART!
- When I said that Hillary Clinton got schlonged by Obama, it meant got beaten badly. The media knows this. Often used word in politics!
- Wish Obama would say ISIS, like almost everyone else, rather than ISIL.
- Hillary said that guns don’t keep you safe. If she really believes that she should demand that her heavily armed bodyguards quickly disarm!
- The State Of The Union speech was one of the most boring, rambling and non-substantive I have heard in a long time. New leadership fast!
- The #SOTU speech is really boring, slow, lethargic – very hard to watch! Next year will be an interesting one.
- I look forward to running against Hillary Clinton, a totally flawed candidate, and beating her soundly.
- For those that don’t think a wall (fence) works, why don’t they suggest taking down the fence around the White House? Foolish people!
- I am officially running for President of the United States.
Guns, Fences, ISIS, God, Christmas, Obama, Hillary, and George W — take note America!
Emotion drives our decision-making. By appealing to emotion, others can persuade us to make decisions. We experience this during political campaigns.
Donald Trump knows the power of emotion. A charismatic leader, Trump infuses his speeches with appeals to emotion. Sentiment analysis makes this clear.
Comparing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I sampled tweets from their respective profiles, published between Monday October 5, 2015, and Sunday October 11, 2015. Using sentiment analysis, each tweet was given a score between -1, the most negative, and +1, the most positive. Plotted across the 7 days, the results are displayed below, with Trump in red and Hillary in blue.
Trump exhibits a noisier sentiment artifact. Trump has almost no tweets with a sentiment score of 0. Trump peaks at +1 nine times; Hillary peaks at +1 three times. Using statistics, we see with Trump there is a greater range of sentiment, with a tendency towards positive sentiment. The Median Sentiment for Donald Trump is 0.21, whereas the Median Sentiment for Hillary Clinton is 0. The Standard Deviation for Donald Trump is 0.39, whereas the Standard Deviation for Hillary Clinton is 0.30.
|Donald Trump||Hillary Clinton|
So why does this matter? Noisy sentiment drives engagement.
The chart below shows average tweet engagement for the respective profiles, for tweets published between Monday October 5, 2015, and Sunday October 11, 2015.
|Donald Trump||Hillary Clinton|
– Trump received 1.31 retweets for every 1 retweet Clinton received
– Trump received 1.79 favorites for every 1 favorite Clinton received
So while some political analysts doubt Trump’s ability to win over the Republican Establishment, these findings clearly show Trump resonates with the people who have direct access to him on Twitter. Like television before it, social media has ushered in a new era of political campaign strategy, and we must ask, how will this new means of communication influence the selection of the Republican Presidential Nominee.