CNN’s Republican Debate: The Results According to Twitter

Everyone has opinions, and, when it comes to politics and social media, they are all too happy to share them. As annoying as scrolling down your Facebook or Twitter feed and finding it full of political rantings can be, it is incredibly useful when it comes to gauging public opinion of our presidential candidates. Using a proprietary algorithm, Thomas Reuters, a mass media and information firm, gauged both the level of mentions and sentiment from Twitter users during and after the debate this past Wednesday. Here’s the insight they uncovered:

Carly Fiorina leapt to the top of social media conversation, with only Donald Trump ahead in Twitter mentions. Trump (35,312 mentions) and Fiorina (19,400 mentions) led the GOP pack as the most talked about candidates during the GOP debate. Considering Fiorina wasn’t even in the last prime time GOP debate, her emphatic ascent into the political conversation is asserting her as a real possibility for the Republican nomination.

Mentions on Twitter do not equal votes, so what was the public sentiment towards her and other candidates? Here’s the Twitter breakdown, from most positive to least:

Positive Sentiment

  • Ben Carson (+10.4)
  • John Kasich (+9.7)
  • Donald Trump (+8.3)
  • Carly Fiorina (+6.3)
  • Marco Rubio (+5.5)
  • Chris Christie (+2.1)

Neutral Sentiment

  • Rand Paul (+0.9)
  • Jeb Bush (+0.2)

Negative Sentiment

  • Ted Cruz (-2.6)
  • Scott Walker (-5.1)
  • Mike Huckabee (-16.6)

If we were so inclined, we could derive a score for each candidate that marries their public sentiment with their Twitter mentions and come up with a ranking of winners and losers for the debate, but I don’t like math. What we can tell for certain, though, is current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, should watch out for Carly Fiorina if Twitter has anything to say about it. Also, Mike Huckabee clearly lost big time according to the Twittersphere.

If you want to learn more about the Thomas Reuters results or if you’re curious about how Twitter reacted during key moments of the debate, check out this article from the Huffington Post.

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