Four Presidential Candidates on Twitter, May 1-9 2016
Quick: what U.S. presidential candidate makes the largest volume of posts on Twitter? Which presidential candidates have been sending messages to the Twitter accounts of other presidential candidates?
Here are the actual results for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Donald Trump, based on Twitter posts from May 1 to May 9, 2016. Arrows’ size and label indicates the number of messages one candidate has sent to another candidate’s Twitter account during the period. If there’s no arrow, there were no messages.
Is this what you expected to see? If you’re like most people, you probably have the impression that Donald Trump is by far the most voluminous “tweeter” on the social media platform, but in fact he has made the smallest number of posts to Twitter during the month of May 2016 so far. Jill Stein has posted more than twice as many tweets as Donald Trump. Yet what Donald Trump posts to Twitter gets the most public reaction, while Jill Stein’s posts have been mostly ignored. Our gut feeling is not based on actual quantity, but on coverage.
What are these candidates talking about on Twitter? Well, you can easily find out for yourself. Here are links to their accounts, with all posts made public by default:
- Hillary Clinton: @hillaryclinton
- Bernie Sanders: @berniesanders
- Jill Stein: @drjillstein
- Donald Trump: @realdonaldtrump
To get a quick, intuitive glimpse at the social media stylings of the 2016 presidential contenders, you can also take a look at the differences in their word clouds, in which the size of a word indicates the number of times it appears in a candidate’s Twitter posts between May 1 and May 9:
What differences do you see?