Product Product | August 16, 2015

The Social Story of the GOP Debate

On the 6th of August, ten Republican candidates took to stage to talk and debate over why they would be the best candidate for the party to run for President. It was no surprise that this event also brought about massive social media chatter.

With social media becoming increasingly important in politics, we at Media IQ decided to use our social intelligence engine to analyze which candidate triumphed at the debate in total shares/posts and which party scored a positive sentiment.

We looked at the social sentiment the parties received before the debate and post the debate. We even looked at the number of the mentions each candidate received post the debate and the sentiment around those mentions.

Lots of people tuned in to see what Donald Trump was going to say in a public forum like this. And while Donald Trump clearly emerged as the winner in terms of posts and shares – with more than half the share among all candidates, Perry scored a high in terms of social sentiment with over 24 positive tweets to every negative tweet about him.

GOP_US Debate1

What was more surprising to note was that Sanders received a high number of tweets from the democratic camp and seems to be a favourite amongst the younger crowd of voters that are active on social media.

Speaking of camps, the two parties are almost neck-to-neck. Prior to the debate the Democrats seemed to have an upper-hand, but things seem to have become favourable for the Republicans post debate. Post debate the tweet volume for Republicans went up by 3x. Though the tweet volume decreased for Democrats, the social sentiment has doubled.

GOP_US Debate2

Another interesting insight that we gained was that out of the total tweets from mobiles, a large proportion came from mobile web browsers and not apps —  Democrats tweeting more than Republicans.

We also found that Republicans tweeted more from their iPhone and iPad apps than Democrats.

Republican tweet percentage on mobile apps –

iPhone – 43%
Android – 17%

If we were to look at the top trending issues, then the one issue that clearly skyrocketed in our analysis was the talk around “immigration” despite other major topics like the economy and medicaid being covered during the debate. The other two issues being #Iraq / Iran where Bush gained a higher social sentiment than the rest, and #NSA surveillance – where Chris Christie stood out in social sentiment, while Rand Paul gained in tweet volume on this issue.

The next debate is on September 16, and we just have to wait and watch, how the number game will change on social media for each.


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