US Insights

A tale of two conventions

Elizabeth Wilner

US Editor

Politics 07.29.2016 / 11:30

speech bubble

Comparing Twitter activity around the world in reaction to both the Republican and Democratic presidential confabs

Using the Kantar US Elections Pulse (returning to the website after Labor Day), we monitored English-language Twitter activity globally about the US presidential race and the presidential conventions specifically for the month of July. While the TV ratings for the conventions among US viewers were lopsided with far more people watching the Democratic event, global Twitter activity paints a picture of somewhat more equal and mixed interest - though about two-thirds of the traffic in both cases amounted to the same people basically retweeting, i.e., talking to themselves. A comparison of activity during the four-day spans of both conventions - including activity around the world from those consuming the programming in zones distinctly outside primetime - yields the following.

All told, we tracked 11.59 million tweets by 2.4 million authors during the four-day span of the Republican convention from July 18 through July 21. Sixty-four percent of those tweets were retweets. We tracked 12.67 million tweets by 2.1 million authors during the four-day span of the Democratic convention from July 25 through July 28; 66% of those were retweets.

On the first three days of the Republican convention, activity peaked during the 10pm hour. On the fourth day, activity peaked in the 11pm hour (the final hour included in this study) at 799,300 tweets; the 10pm hour saw 724,300 tweets.

RNC 4-day Twitter

On the first day of the Democratic convention, activity peaked during the 11pm hour as Sen. Bernie Sanders’s appearance at the podium ran past 11:00 pm. Activity on the second and third day peaked during the 10pm hour. On the final day, activity peaked in the 11pm hour at 731,000; the prior hour saw 436,000 tweets.

DNC 4-day Twitter

The most used hashtag during the four days of the GOP convention was #RNCinCLE at 1.67 million, followed by #GOPconvention at 241,000 at #Trump2016 at 135,000. Other top hashtags reflect some mishaps and opposition to Trump's candidacy, including his wife's controversial speech: #NeverTrump at #4, #MAGA at #5, #TrumpPence16 at #7, #MelaniaTrump at #8, and pro-Clinton hashtag #ImWithHer at #10, while #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes landed at #17.

RNC 4-day top hashtags

The most-tweeted term was “Melania” at 1.1 million, with “speech” second at 849,000; “Cruz” was #10 at 306,000.

Speaking of @tedcruz, he was mentioned in 138,000 tweets, 69% of which were negative. His account was the third most active/used behind @FoxNews and @CNN, with @BernieSanders fourth and @Mike_Pence fifth.

During the four days of the Democratic convention, the most used hashtag during the four days was #DemsinPhilly at 1.37 million, followed by #DNCinPHL at 340,000 and #DemConvention at 252,000. But the fourth most-used hashtag was #TrumpPence16, followed by #MAGA. #ImWithHer was #6. #DNCleak was #10 and #DNCleaks was #13; #NeverHillary was #14. Clinton’s slogan, #StrongerTogether, was #15.

DNC 4-day top hashtags

Among the most-tweeted terms was “Russia”, ranking sixth at 433,000; “president” was first at 679,000 and “Obama” was #15 at 321,000.

@BernieSanders loomed over Democrats’ convention on Twitter as well as in the hall: his Twitter handle was the most mentioned other than the candidates' at 238,000, 54% of which were positive or neutral. @POTUS was used by 219,000; @billclinton by 101,000; @FLOTUS by 83,000.

Source: Kantar

Editor's Notes

Follow global Twitter activity about the US presidential election on Kantar's US Elections Pulse, returning to the website after Labor Day. For more information, contact us. Follow @Kantar and sign up for our insight alerts.

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