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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?

Twitter posting and interaction patterns by U.S. Presidential candidates, May 1 to May 9 2016

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:

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:

Word Cloud of Hillary Clinton's Twitter posts, May 1-6 2016 Word cloud of Bernie Sanders' Twitter posts, May 1 to 9 2016 Word cloud of Jill Stein's Twitter posts, May 1 to May 9 2016 Word cloud of Donald Trump's Twitter posts, May 1 to May 9 2016

What differences do you see?

3 thoughts on “Four Presidential Candidates on Twitter, May 1-9 2016”

  1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    Where is @GovGaryJohnson in this analysis of Presidential candidate Twitter accounts? Where is the word cloud made of his tweets? (@GovGaryJohnson is the Twitter account of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.)

    1. Jim Cook says:

      I’m ignoring him.

      1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

        But he has more followers than Jill Stein who is included. He also made fun of the infamous taco bowl tweet in the way only someone from New Mexico could. He also quoted some of Donald Trump’s tweets and tweets @ing him to criticize Donald Trump.

        @GovGaryJohnson needs a word cloud in the shape of the letter J just like Hillary Clinton’s C, Bernie Sander’s S, Jill Stein’s S, and Donald Trump’s T.

        @GovGaryJohnson has the best Twitter account I have ever seen.

        RT America is referring to the May 9 and 12 third party debates on Watching the Hawks at 4-6 PM ET. May 9 was the Green one and May 12 will be the Libertarian one.

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