Tracking Reactions to the Presidential Debates in Social Media
Illinois State University’s Social Media Analytics Command Center (SMACC) is partnering with the Commission on Presidential Debates to examine what Twitter users in critical states are saying about presidential candidates. Twitter posts from specific counties in linchpin states are being closely monitored before, during, and after this fall’s presidential debates.
The Commission on Presidential Debates is collaborating with a number of technology, academic, and media organizations to engage the public in conversations about election issues during this debate season. The SMACC, based in Illinois State’s School of Communication, is working in conjunction with students in the Honors 202 (Interdisciplinary Investigations) class to track tweets about candidates originating in crucial linchpin counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia, North Carolina, and New Mexico.
Specifically, student researchers are analyzing data to determine which candidate is mentioned in the tweets and whether the posts are for or against the candidate. Data have been collected the day before, of, and after each debate. The results are displayed using dynamic charts, graphs, and other visualizations in the student-authored reports published here on the American Democracy Project blog (see links below).
The project aims to answer a number of questions such as “How do tweets compare with polling in these counties? How do volume and valence of posts—for or against the candidate—correspond with debate performance? Can mentions about candidates predict election outcomes?”
Illinois State’s Honors 202 class is taught by School of Communication Director Stephen Hunt and Associate Professor of Communication Lance Lippert. In addition, the project is receiving assistance from Nathan Carpenter, the Assistant Director for Convergent Media in the School of Communication.
You can access the students’ findings in their reports below:
- Using Twitter to Predict the Election in Bernalillo County, New Mexico (Noah Tang)
- Analysis of Tweets from the 2016 Presidential Debates (Brady Kunz)
- Favorability and National Polls (Madeline Herrman)
- Social Media Analytics Capture Effects of 1st Presidential Debate (Grace Heim)
- Hamilton County, OH (Taylor Ellis)
- Insights from Clinton/Trump Twitter Sentiment Analysis (Dillon Maher)
- Reactions to Presidential Debates in Bucks County (Jenna Cleveland)
- Presidential Candidate Favorability: Twitter Analysis (Neil Harris)
- Analysis of Composite Social Media Data (Noah Mendenhall)
- Limitations on Study of Social Media Analytics Surrounding 2016 Presidential Debates 1 and 2 (Beau Ott)
- Year of Dislikes… but Who Do They Like? (Samantha Schultz)
- When Positivity Is Not Key (Kelsie Klingenberg)