Covid-19 Resource Center

Understand how consumers are responding.

Online Trends

Published November 11th 2015

React: How You Reacted to the GOP Candidates on Social Media

The GOP presidential debates have always succeeded in causing a stir on Twitter, and this one was certainly no exception.

Since the close of the third Republican debate (not even two weeks ago) there have been a considerable number of talking points in the media pertaining to the candidates of the political party.

Funnily enough, the media have focused their attention on the leader of the polls, Dr Ben Carson.

While the former neurosurgeon presents himself in a calm and measured manner, the headlines in the past two weeks have painted him as anything but.

His scholarship to West Point Military Academy and a violent outburst as a child have been center stage of late. All in all a very high bar was set for the poll topping, reserved, presidential candidate.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 14.17.46

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump was leading the pack in terms of online share of voice before the debate commenced.

The real estate mogul has also been making headlines this week following his call to boycott Starbucks.

Red cups aside, Trump had some work to do this time around as he has been trailing Carson in the national polls.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 14.18.53

While he boasted SOV of 29% his net sentiment painted an entirely different picture, one which didn’t really improve during the debate.

That being said his comment about the only female candidate, Carly Fiorina, incessantly interrupting him definitely did not win him any favors.

Stand-out moments and foreign affairs

The Republicans have been known to, at times, make some questionable remarks. This time round was no exception.

The winner of this round and subsequently the driver of the most online mentions in one minute was Senator Ted Cruz who wanted to abolish not one, but two Chambers of Commerce. Many a-head was scratched after that comment.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.

Rand Paul had a stand-out moment during the debate when he first of all corrected Donald Trump on the Trans-Pacific Partnerships, and in turn delayed an ever so precious commercial debate.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 14.20.32

This moment drove considerable conservation for the presidential hopeful and placed him in an enviable position.  

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 14.21.25


If we are handing out accolades for rational views on foreign affairs, one should definitely go to Marco Rubio. He gained almost 700 mentions in a single minute following his opinions on Vladimir Putin and Iran.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 14.22.53

The closing online sentiment scores are pretty indicative of the debate as a whole (bear in mind that sentiment determination can sometimes be inaccurate, and some mentions go uncategorized).

That being said, none of the candidates performed terribly, but none shone through either.

What is definite though is that the generous lead and favorability that Trump and Carson once relished, is no more.

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 14.24.10


Thanksgiving has always been somewhat of a stick in the sand in terms of voters devoting genuine consideration to the presidential race, so time will tell the fate of the GOP candidates.

In the meantime all eyes are towards the Democrats on Saturday the 14th. We’ll be watching.

Follow @bw_react to keep up with all of the social stats on the Presidential Race.

If you’re a journalist would and like to use this data, please contact

Full data and methodology available. 

Share this post
Politics React
Search the blog
Covid-19 Resource Center

Get access to free expert-built dashboards, daily email bulletins, unique reports and more to help you understand how consumer are responding.

Access insights

Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.