“Many people will be shocked at how close this election will be.”
Over the past months I have developed a process for understanding elections through the lens of Twitter data. Combining and comparing Twitter metrics, the process provides an ordinal representation of where the candidates stand amongst one another. I am excited to announce the process will be unveiled over the coming weeks as a website, named Twitterwonk. It is my hope Twitterwonk will serve as a tool for better understanding elections as we further immerse ourselves in the age of new media. To kick us off, here is a visualization displaying the Twitterwonk Score for the Republican and Democrat frontrunners. Good luck to all the candidates, and may Twitterwonk serve you.
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.
Donald Trump: 6/16/15 – 1/16/16
Most Mentioned Moments on Twitter
- Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration: Dec 8, 2015
- Live Tweeting Democrat Debate: Oct 13, 2015
- GOP Debate: Dec 15, 2015
- GOP Debate: Aug 8, 2015
- It’s not a Fence, Jeb, It’s a WALL: Aug 25, 2015
- US Sailors Response: Jan 14, 2016
- GOP Debate: Sep 16, 2015
- GOP Debate: Oct 28, 2015
- Paris Attacks: Nov 13, 2015
- Hillary ISIS Video: Dec 21, 2015
- #AskTrump @TwitterNYC: Sep 21, 2015
- Hillary, there is nothing to laugh about: Nov 23, 2015
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!
“I come from the ‘60s, a long time ago,” Hillary Clinton said at Saturday’s Democratic Presidential debate, in response to a question about student activism. The gaffe has mostly fallen on deaf ears.
Hillary Clinton is 68 years old. She was born October 26, 1947. Here is a visualization showing the age distribution of US Presidents upon assuming the Oval Office.
To date, only three US Presidents between the ages 65-69 have assumed the Oval Office. Once again, Hillary Clinton is 68 years old. She “come(s) from the ‘60s, a long time ago.”
Granted, the US population is aging. However, when selecting Presidents, this aging US population has trended towards younger Presidents.
Age upon assuming Oval Office: Barack Obama, 47 years old; George W. Bush, 54 years old; Bill Clinton, 46 years old.
Hillary wishes to dispel the age perception. HFA recently posted the SnapChat logo wearing a most recognizable pantsuit.
Of all the social networks, Snapchat skews youngest. According to Business Insider, 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages 18-24.
Thus, a strategy has emerged: capture the young mind. Win the unspoiled voter, who is excited by the prospect of casting her first vote. Btw, Hillary uses Snapchat.
Further evidence of the strategy:
Twitter Banner displaying young prospective voters
HFA blog post appealing to youth and “a new age”
We should expect age to become a louder issue as the campaigns unfold. For reference, here are the ages of all the candidates, both Democrats and Republicans. Those between the ages 44- 60 are in bold.
Hilary Clinton, 68 years old
Bernie Sanders, 74 yeards old
Martin O’Malley, 52 years old
Donald Trump, 69 years old
Ben Carson, 64 years old
Marco Rubio, 44 years old
Ted Cruz, 44 years old
Jeb Bush, 62 years old
Carly Fiorina, 61 years old
John Kasich, 63 years old
Rand Paul, 52 years old
Where does the competition stand leading to tonight’s Republican Debate? Using Google Trends data from the past three months, I plotted a correlation matrix comparing search queries among the candidates.
The matrix reveals trends. Notably, Donald Trump searches are the least related to the other candidates. This supports Trump having created his own news cycle, apart from the Republican news cycle. As you may see in the time series plot, the Trump search artifact exhibits peaks and nuance not seen in the other artifacts. Furthermore, Trump searches are the least related to Ben Carson searches, with a 0.01 correlation. Other patterns to note, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio searches are highly related, 0.94 correlation, and there is high inter-relatedness among searches for Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul.
It becomes clear that, aside from Trump and Carson, Google Searches for Republican Candidates hit inflection points around the debates. Furthermore, there is clustering among candidates, which can be considered as different news cycles:
- Donald Trump
- Ben Carson
- Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio
- Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul
We will see tonight if any of the Candidates makes a move to shake up the trends.