Twitter – US Presidential Campaigns, Nov 7, 2015: Heat Map

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This heat map visualizes the US Presidential Campaigns on Twitter as of November 7, 2015. Darkest blue indicates the highest value. Grey indicates the lowest value.

Takeaways:

  • Bernie Sanders receives the most engagement per Tweet
  • Donald Trump Tweets the most of any candidate
  • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the most Followers
  • Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie have curated new Twitter feeds for the 2016 election, as indicated by low Total Tweets
  • With the exception of Donald Trump, the Democrats rank highest across the board, indicating digital competency
  • With the exception of Carly Fiorina, all candidates Tweet a moderate amount per day

Sentiment Analysis: Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton Tweets, Oct 5 – Oct 11, 2015

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.
sentimentanalysisfinal

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
Median Sentiment 0.21 0.00
Standard Deviation 0.39 0.30

boxandwhiskers

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
Avg. Retweets 1028 783
Avg. Favorites 2136 1196

– 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.