I have found, on average, a +0.6 correlation between Twitterwonk Scores and national polls. Of the four leading candidates, Bernie Sanders (displayed) shows the highest correlation, +0.9. The national poll data used in the analysis is from fivethirtyeight. The findings suggest Twitterwonk can be used as a substitute to traditional national polling methods, which are resource intensive and delayed in reporting. While national polls are not always predictive of state primary results, they play a big role in media coverage.
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.
Who will win the 2016 US Republican and Democrat Presidential Nominations?
For the time period 11/1/2015 – 11/30/2015, my team of researchers at NYU Stern collected Twitter data on the following candidates:
- Marco Rubio
- Ted Cruz
- Donald Trump
- Ben Carson
- Jeb Bush
- Carly Fiorina
- Bernie Sanders
- Martin O’Malley
- Hillary Clinton
We designed a prediction algorithm using these five metrics:
- Tweets (published by Candidate)
The heat map represents the ordinal ranking produced by the algorithm.
Grouping the candidates by party, and comparing the results to actual poll rankings we see the algorithm matches the ordinal representation of the Democrat Candidates and has Ted Cruz as second among the Republicans, behind Donald Trump.
While the Ted Cruz point is not consistent with current polls, we believe Twitter to be a directional leading indicator and predict Ted Cruz to break away from the other Republican candidates in the coming weeks. This visualization, based on the algorithm, shows Ted Cruz gradually pulling away from Ben Carson and Marco Rubio.
Interestingly, we find a relationship between Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton, such that when the difference between their scores decreases, Rubio surpasses Clinton in direct comparison polls.
Taken together, we predict the 2016 Democrat Presidential Nominee to be:
- Hillary Clinton
We predict the 2016 Republican Presidential Nominee to be:
- Ted Cruz
- Donald Trump
Based on his ranking according to the algorithm in addition to his standing in direct comparison polls with Clinton, we believe the 2016 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee to be:
- Marco Rubio
For more details about the study, please email email@example.com
Special thanks to Troy Manos, Tarang Dawer, and Keita Shimizu.
“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
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.
- 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