US elections 2016
US elections 2016
US elections 2016

Battle of the Tweets

Forget rallies, interviews and campaign videos - Twitter has been one of the most exciting battlegrounds of the US presidential election. Both candidates are slugging it out, but has anyone landed a knockout blow?

intro US
Who do you think attacks their opponents more on Twitter?
SOURCE:GIPHY
YES
CLINTON'S TWEETS ATTACK  7.5%
MORE THAN TRUMP'S
The Democratic nominee hurls more attacks against her opposition on Twitter than the Republican nominee.
SOURCE:GIPHY
NO
CLINTON'S TWEETS ATTACK  7.5%
MORE THAN TRUMP'S
The Republican nominee launches fewer attacks against his opposition on Twitter compared with Clinton.
Attacking style

Clinton tends to deliver her blows with a dash of subtlety. This tweet, a quote from a speech she made on July 29, was re-tweeted more than 25k times for its passive-aggressive takedown of her opponent.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
1:18 PM - 29 Jul 2016

"A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." —Hillary

Trump tends to be direct in his attacks, frequently using #CrookedHillary, and variations of this.

This tweet from July 10 takes on both the current president and the Democratic nominee.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
10:02 PM - 10 Jul 2016

Look what is happening to our country under the WEAK leadership of Obama and people like Crooked Hillary Clinton. We are a divided nation!

Not all tweets attack

All you hear about are the candidates attacking each other, but somehow, they've found time to - surprise - praise their own campaigns on Twitter as well. The University of Syracuse analysed tweets from their official accounts and found that attack tweets comprise about 24 to 31 per cent. Read more  here.

A look at all campaign tweets as of Oct 9 by message type:

Attacking tweetson issues11.4%Attacking tweetson image20.0%Advocacy tweetson issues18.6%Advocacy tweetson image18.5%10.2%InformativeCeremonial3.9%Call to action12.6%2.7%Foreign language(Eg. Spanish)Endorsement1.7%0.4%Conversational
Advocacy tweetson image19.6%Call to action9.4%ConversationalForeign language (eg. Spanish)Endorsement3.6%Ceremonial11.9%Advocacy tweetson issues8.6%1.2%0.1%Informative21.7%Attacking tweetson issues6.4%Attacking tweetson image17.5%
Most popular tweets so far

You might have already seen these - the three most retweeted tweets as of Oct 9.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
4:27 AM - 10 Jun 2016

Delete your account. RT @realDonaldTrump: Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama—but nobody else does!

Retweets: 500k | Likes: 670k
Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
11:19 AM - 27 Sep 2016

"I never said that." —Donald Trump, who said that.  #debatenight
RT @realDonaldTrump: The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Retweets: 100k | Likes: 160k
Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
1:33 PM - 27 Sep 2016

Donald Trump called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."
Her name is Alicia Machado.  #DebateNight

Retweets: 65k | Likes: 87k
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
6:40 AM - 10 Jun 2016

How long did it take your staff of 823 people to think that up--and where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted?

Retweets: 170k | Likes: 290k
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
1:36 AM - 21 Jul 2016

The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails.

Retweets: 120k | Likes: 250k
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
4:57 AM - 6 May 2016

Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!

Retweets: 82k | Likes: 120k
Of tweets and opinion polls

These two will never run out of issues to attack each other on. So, just for a lark, we looked at what they were sparring about on Twitter as their fortunes dipped and peaked in the opinion polls. Scroll to see the six battles we picked and their tweets on them.

Clinton v Trump  Real Clear Politics poll average from Feb 1 to Oct 9, 2016 (in %)

ABORTION
March 31

Trump will want to forget this one. His comments that women should be punished for  having an abortion  have been described as a costly mistake and the lowest point of his campaign at that time. Naturally, Clinton went into overdrive on Twitter - and the usually incendiary Trump stayed tight-lipped. When he finally replied, over a week later - guess what - he had conveniently changed topic.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
2:14 AM - 1 Apr 2016

@realDonaldTrump said women should be punished for having an abortion. We can't let him be president.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
9:20 AM - 31 Mar 2016

Even by his impossibly low standards, @realDonaldTrump's suggestion that women be punished for seeking abortion is abhorrent.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
9:22 PM - 9 Apr 2016

Bernie Sanders says that Hillary Clinton is unqualified to be president. Based on her decision making ability, I can go along with that!

GUN CONTROL
May 22

Trump, with the National Rifle Association's backing, charged that Clinton would  "take your guns away from you". She hit back, of course, saying his candidacy would put "more kids at risk of violence and bigotry". May 22 also marks the first time Trump came heairst time Trump came head-to-head with Clinton in the polls, a result of a combination of factors; Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee, and Clinton battling the popularity of her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders and her e-mail scandal.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
10:50 AM - 22 May 2016

"Unlike Donald Trump, I will not pander to the gun lobby. We will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated." —Hillary

SOURCE:GIPHY
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
1:55 PM - 22 May 2016

Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!

SOURCE:GIPHY
SHAKY RECORDS
June 22

Would it surprise you at this point if we said that Trump delivered a scathing attack of Clinton, and she dealt with it with three equally scathing tweets about Trump's own record? Trump's carefully scripted speech, by the way, was off the teleprompter, which was a departure from his usual  freewheeling style.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
2:31 AM - 22 Jun 2016

"He says women will start making equal pay as soon as they do as good a job as men—as if we aren’t already." —Hillary on @realDonaldTrump

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
5:28 AM - 22 Jun 2016

.@realDonaldTrump has written a lot of books about business, but they all seem to end at Chapter 11.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
10:03 PM - 22 Jun 2016

FACT: No major company has filed for Chapter 11 more often in the last 30 years than @realDonaldTrump's casinos.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
8:38 PM - 21 Jun 2016

Crooked Hillary Clinton is totally unfit to be our president-really bad judgement and a temperament, according to new book, which is a mess!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
12:22 AM - 22 Jun 2016

I will be making a big speech tomorrow to discuss the failed policies and bad judgment of Crooked Hillary Clinton.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
3:17 AM - 22 Jun 2016

If you want to know about Hillary Clinton's honesty & judgment, ask the family of Ambassador Stevens.

E-MAIL LEAK
July 22

Clinton must be fed up with e-mail. The release of some 20,000 stolen e-mails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers exposed how much her party's apparatus favoured her over her primary rival, Bernie Sanders.

Trump jumped on her campaign manager's argument that the e-mails were leaked by Russians to help Trump: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” He was referring to her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
3:23 AM - 28 Jul 2016

RT @rosenbergerlm: "The first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage."

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
2:16 AM - 28 Jul 2016

If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
3:16 AM - 28 Jul 2016

Great new poll - thank you!
#MakeAmericaGreatAgain

POST DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
July 30 to Aug 9

Clinton's Democratic National Convention bounce faded quickly, but Trump was busy shooting himself in the foot. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to criticise the Muslim American parents of an Army officer killed in Iraq?

Then Trump clawed his way back through August, accusing the media of bias and Clinton of corruption in a series of retaliatory tweets.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
6:34 AM - 31 Jul 2016

Our Commander-in-Chief shouldn’t insult and deride our generals, retired or otherwise. That really should go without saying.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
8:31 AM - 31 Jul 2016

Captain Khan and his family represent the best of America, and we salute them.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
10:02 AM - 2 Aug 2016

Trump wants to be our Commander-in-Chief. Here's how he's treated veterans thus far:

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
2:09 AM - 3 Aug 2016

This from a man who says he’s “sacrificed” for our country. RT @alivitali: Trump says a man here gave him his Purple Heart. "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart," Trump says. "This was much easier."

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
8:57 AM - 7 Aug 2016

Seriously, what is going on with Trump and Russia?

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
10:57 PM - 31 Jul 2016

Captain Khan, killed 12 years ago, was a hero, but this is about RADICAL ISLAMIC TERROR and the weakness of our "leaders" to eradicate it!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
9:10 PM - 1 Aug 2016

Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same - Nice!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
8:24 PM - 2 Aug 2016

The Washington Post calls out #CrookedHillary for what she REALLY is. A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR! Watch that nose grow!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
11:53 AM - 7 Aug 2016

I am not just running against Crooked Hillary Clinton, I am running against the very dishonest and totally biased media - but I will win!

PAY-FOR-PLAY
Sept 13

Trump attacked Clinton of using her position as secretary of state to benefit the Clinton Foundation, calling it  pay-for-play  or pay-to-play. A foundation soon came under scrutiny all right - the Donald J Trump Foundation. New York's Attorney General opened a  probe  to find out if it was flouting a state law.

Amid all this was genuine (cough) concern for Clinton's health over pneumonia, and criticism for her "SO INSULTING" comments about    Trump's supporters.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
2:17 AM - 14 Sep 2016

Pay-To-Play: The act of making a donation to a politician so they'll help you out. See: Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton
@Hillary Clinton
9:46 PM - 14 Sep 2016

Donald Trump's foundation allegedly paid off Florida's attorney general to prevent an investigation into his fraud.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
10:55 PM - 22 Aug 2016

Statement on Clinton Foundation:
https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/po...

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
10:47 PM - 10 Sep 2016

Wow, Hillary Clinton was SO INSULTING to my supporters, millions of amazing, hard working people. I think it will cost her at the Polls!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
9:37 AM - 11 Sep 2016

Hillary Clinton just had her 47% moment. What a terrible thing she said about so many great Americans!

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
12:23 AM - 21 Sep 2016

Hillary Clinton is taking the day off again, she needs the rest. Sleep well Hillary - see you at the debate!

Note: All tweets are in Singapore time.
Source: Twitter, Real Clear Politics, University of Syracuse Illuminating 2016, Giphy
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