Believe It or Not, Social Media Data Predicted Trump’s VictoryNovember 09, 2016
Why are you surprised?
Unlike any race before, this election was won and lost on social media. Trump and his mastery of social media was the game-changer. He mobilized his masses and pissed off his detractors. While most pundits predicted it was over before election day started, the masses flocked to social media and spoke out loud.
For the past 18 months we’ve analyzed and benchmarked each candidate, tracking their performance versus a four-week moving average, letting social data tell the story. We accurately predicted Iowa and a majority of the Super Tuesday states.
For election day, we created a sentiment tracker for Reuters, who has been using Zoomph to better understand America’s perspective on the race. As you can see in the timeline, Donald won against Hillary.
At 3PM, I joined Vincenzo Landino’s Aftermarq FaceBook Live show. They broadcasted throughout the entire day, and wanted my perspective on how the race was unfolding.
I pulled social media data from 6AM through 3PM for the nation, then Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. comparing the ratio of positive/negative sentiment for Donald versus Hillary. Despite the New York Times suggesting an 85% chance that Hillary would win Florida, I contended Trump was ahead. Social data saw Trump’s ratio of positive/negative activity double that of Hillary’s.
In this chart, you can see Trump earning six positive posts per minute in Florida, versus 3 per minute for Hillary. As for negative sentiment, each candidate received 3 posts per minute. Trump’s ratio was far stronger than Clinton’s.
We saw similar trends for Pennsylvania, Ohio, and all the battleground states. For the nation, the ratio was 1.4 versus 1.2 in Donald’s favor.
Some other interesting stats we saw in Florida (and echoed across the nation):
Trump earned more positive activity from Hispanics and African Americans compared to Hillary.
Comparing gender, 51% of the positive conversations for Hillary were from females compared to 48% for Donald.
From a generational perspective, it was a relatively even distribution talking about both candidates.
We started this journey with a hypothesis that predictive social media analytics can be more accurate and powerful than traditional polling.
With a solid methodology in place, we believe media outlets and politicians need to embrace social analytics to keep a finger on the pulse of their constituents.
With this historic election behind us, I am reminded of a famous quote from Winston Churchill:
“Now this is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
I’ll let you interpret what that means, and will leave by congratulating Mr. President Elect on a game well played. Go forth and unite this divided country.