Hillary Clinton is a ____: The Internet Speaks Politics

By Gemma Joyce on September 2nd 2016

Did someone say there was an election coming?

We’ve been following the social data surrounding the Presidential race very closely, and there’s been no shortage of drama.

Last week the Brandwatch React team took a look at some of the different ways people described Donald Trump on social media.

This week it’s Hillary’s turn.


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"Donald Trump is a _____": The Internet Speaks

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Methodology

Our methodology for this post differs very slightly from the Trump post but much of our setup was the same.

The team looked at Twitter mentions of “Hillary Clinton (or hillaryclinton) is a” between 16th – 23rd August. Accounts tweeting the same message in excess of 20 times (spam) were removed, as were retweets, leaving us with 1,388 instances to analyze.

The team then took the first 35 characters following those search strings and identified the words mentioned most frequently using an online word counting app. The remaining data included raw mentions of “hillary clinton/hillaryclinton is a” in tweets, including anything from tweeted news headlines to general musings.

Since mention volumes were much lower than last week’s Trump data looking at a similar discussion, in the case of the Clinton data we included adjectives as well as nouns (in Trump’s case we only used nouns and words that could be interpreted as nouns or adjectives, e.g. racist, American).

“Hillary Clinton is a bigot”

This chart shows the top mentioned words used to describe Hillary Clinton on Twitter.

“Bigot,” it seems, is on top.

Hillary Clinton is a

It won’t be surprising to most to find that Donald Trump had a helping hand in this being the case. Many of the “bigot” tweets were quoting the man himself.

Trump’s insistence on calling Clinton “Crooked Hillary” has definitely started to feed into descriptions of Clinton with “crook” making the list further down.

Second on the list was “liar”, with “lying” fourth. Some people put it into poetry.

Beyond the common terms used to describe Clinton we also found some fairly niche ones.

Key differences with Trump

Perhaps the most striking difference between Hillary and Donald’s mentions is the volume. Trump has consistently garnered more mentions than his competitors throughout the race (be they good or bad) and has made a huge mark on the conversation. One of the top mentioned terms across discussion of the two candidates is “Crooked Hillary”, a nickname he has repeatedly propagated on Twitter.

Another difference was the prominence of descriptors that refer to the candidates’ gender. For Trump, “man” was third on the list. For Hillary, “woman” came much further down and had a much much lower volume. “Bitch” also registered in Clinton’s top 20 used terms, ahead of “candidate” and “human”, a name that was found much further down Trump’s list with only 14 mentions.

In both cases people were more likely to tweet the candidates’ full name than their Twitter handle when describing them (perhaps for fear of one of them actually replying and feeling the wrath of thousands of supporters).

Who comes out on top? Well, neither Trump nor Hillary have many positive words in their charts and while Trump has slightly more positive/neutral terms in his top 20 he also received a whole lot more mentions, meaning a whole lot more negativity.

While both sets of research analyzed data over seven-day periods (with a one day difference), looking at mentions over the last three months they’ve had a fairly balanced sentiment score between them.

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 16.07.58

Let’s call it a tie.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us react@brandwatch.com for more information


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Gemma Joyce

@GLJoyce

Gemma is the social data journalist heading up Brandwatch React. As well as being first with the current affairs data, Gemma loves pizza, politics, and long reads. Her work has been featured in publications like Financial Times, Wired, Business Insider, and PR Week