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Elections 2016 Social Media Update: Yes, Everybody is Talking About Donald Trump

The broadcast news media keeps saying social media exploded after Trump’s comments about banning Muslims from entering the United States.

We decided to take a deeper look at what the data says.

Since early August, we’ve been monitoring social media activity about each candidate. Specifically, we’ve been listening to social conversations in which the candidate is the topic of a post. Each week, we analyze and benchmark social data and compare it to a 28-day average. Normalizing data this way has helped us see trends.

We immediately saw Carly Fiorina’s rise after the first debate. We saw partisan reactions to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi hearings, but it ultimately helped her solidify her top spot with democrats. We saw Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz climb the rankings. We suggested Cruz was in second place more than three weeks ago, and now see him solidifying that spot in 49 states. But we haven’t seen anything like this.

Reaction to Trump’s comments on social media was swift and intense. Activity that included mentions of Trump exploded more than 300% when compared to his 28-day daily average.

The chart below compares the 28-day average to 24 hours of activity starting at noon on December 7. Mentions of any candidate increased 150% to 591,000 yesterday. Normally, Trump accounts for 44% of all mentions. This jumped to 70% after his comments.
 

Social Media Conversation around Trump 2016 Presidential Race

 

The debates have always attracted a lot of attention on social media. There were 413,000 social conversations about republicans during the last three debates combined. Yesterday, there were 411,600 social conversations about Trump.

No matter what he’s talking about, Trump’s comments are always polarizing, as seen by our sentiment analysis over the last 24 hours.
 

Social sentiment around Donald Trump after Muslim comment

 

Hate him or love him, Trump is a master of all things social media.

Based on Vox Media’s piece that suggests 76% of Republicans think Islam is un-American, while his comments are extreme and controversial, it demonstrates a tactic that pits him against his republican opponents. While Trump’s competitors denounce his plan, they end up splintering support between 12 candidates. Trump has a clear, but divisive message, which may ultimately end up bringing him more supporters.

Based on our most recent benchmark of weekly data ending this past Sunday, Trump is winning social buzz in all 50 states. Until the republican field loses more candidates, we doubt we’ll see anyone dethrone him from the top spot. But this should all make for a very interesting debate next week.

 

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Monitoring & Tracking
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