Donald Trump Twitter campaign outperforms Hillary Clinton’s in all dimensions: output, engagement, performance

I dipped the R cup in the Twitter font of wisdom and here is what I found… For the period April 15-July 16 Trump’s campaign leads Hillary Clintons’ on Twitter by a factor of about 2.

Trump’s campaign put out a couple hundred more tweets (914), compared to Hillary (714) yet these were retweeted at a far higher rate. Trump got an average of 6000 re-tweets per status update, which is TWICE as many retweets as those generated by Hillary’s campaign.

Trump’s campaign also outperform’s Ms. Clinton for favorites. An average Trump tweet is “favorited” by 18,307 users, compared to the 6275 users that select an average Hillary tweet as a favorite.

Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump tweeting performance
Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump tweeting performance


Trump’s army on Twitter is larger, as well, but not in the same proportions, which shows a higher engagement with Trump’s campaign across the board. Donald Trump’s Twitter account has 9.8 million followers, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 7.4 million. Speaking of raw numbers, mr. Trump garnered almost three times more retweets and four times as many “favorites” as Ms. Clinton.


Donal Trump - Hillary Clinton Twitter campaign output
Donal Trump – Hillary Clinton Twitter campaign output

Yet, success in Twittersphere is one thing, while electoral support is another. Twitter users represent a particular demographic. They are only 20% of the adult population, to begin with. At the same time, they are younger and better educated (which should favor Hillary!)… The factor that might make a difference here is degree of emotional engagement…

Presumptive electoral support goes in Hillary Clinton’s favor, but not by much. She has a lead of about 3-5 percentage points, although the gap seems to be closing, or seems to be closing since July 1st. Here is the “poll of polls” aggregated periodically by Real Clear Politics .

Intention to vote in 2016 presidential campaign: April-July 2016
Intention to vote in 2016 presidential campaign: April-July 2016


Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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