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Online Trends

Published April 6th 2016

React: Election 2016: The Candidates’ Highs and Lows So Far

Brandwatch takes a look at how the remaining Presidential candidates have fared on social throughout the race so far.

The election trail has blazed on since August 2015 and only five candidates out of 22 remain.

We felt it was a good time to reflect on some of the social data that has been piling up since the start of the race.

Let’s look at some of the highs and lows for each of the candidates since the beginning of the year.


The Republicans


Donald Trump

Trump’s social media presence has been unprecedented for a political figure; he has received a staggering 46 million mentions on Twitter since January 1st and shows no sign of slowing down.

His record for the most mentions in one day is March 3rd when he racked up a considerable 1.5m in one day. There were three major causes for this:

  1. The comments Mitt Romney made about his candidacy
  2. Trump facing Megyn Kelly in the #GOPDebate
  3. Certain comments made referring to his manhood during said debate.

Trump’s most positive day came on January 29th when supporters made their voices known in the hours leading up to the first caucus of the race, Iowa.

However, his comments on the Brussels attacks solidified his most negative week on social at a score of 53.5% negative.


Ted Cruz

The Texas senator had his best day on Twitter when he shocked the masses by beating Trump in the Iowa Caucus. But hold your applause; rather ironically, Cruz’s most negative day on social came just two days later, on the 3rd, when Trump accused him of stealing the caucus.

The controversy doesn’t stop there for Cruz. On the 25th of March he registered 510k mentions on Twitter, his highest so far, but they didn’t paint him in the most presidential light.

#CruzSexScandal was used in over 110,000 tweets and racked up 71,897,535 impressions.

Ted Cruz oops

John Kasich

Despite garnering the least number of mentions of any of the presidential candidates he remains as the most well received Republican on Twitter.

Kasich’s shining moment on social came early in the year, on January 18th, when #Kasich4Us reached a peak in impressions and the governor of Ohio boasted an impressive 88.9% positive sentiment score.

His win in Ohio gained him the most attention so far, his social mentions reached 38,000 that day.

Interestingly, Kasich receives the least number of tweets from the female audience (41%) of all the candidates.

GOP by gender

The Democrats


Hillary Clinton

The biggest day of the year for the only woman left in the race came on the back of the results of Super Tuesday. Clinton secured 7 states and drove 373k mentions on Twitter.

But the day she got the most love on Twitter was when she won the South Carolina, boosting her sentiment categorised mentions to 73.4% positive.

Clinton’s worst day by far came on January night when this story began trending. The fact that the following tweet gained over 2,000 retweets certainly didn’t help matters.


Bernie Sanders

A quick look at our Election data viz shows that Sanders has fared well over the past 3 months.

He gained the most support on Twitter following his wins in Alaska and Washington when only 14% of tweets about the Virginia governor were negative.

On the day of the 7th #DemDebate this video clip garnered 24,354,518 impressions on Twitter. This and Sanders’ performance in the debate earned him the most mentions so far.

#FeelTheBern is by far the most prolific candidate hashtag, especially within the Democratic party.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 10.19.55

As the race continues to accelerate we’ll be keeping a close eye on the data.


If you have any questions about the data used in this post email react@brandwatch.com. In the meantime follow us on Twitter.


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