Each month leading up to the general election, FleishmanHillard TRUE will be releasing a buzz report for the top candidates in each party. This analysis is conducted by FleishmanHillard’s New York Research & Analytics team, utilizing several social media analytics platforms to identify the share of voice on Twitter. While this analysis will provide for interesting fodder, it is worth noting that the analysis does not take into account sentiment, so we are not claiming that this would be representative of poll numbers.
Social mentions of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continued to plummet in June, correlating with the Democrat’s diminished chances of winning the White House. It became mathematically impossible for Sanders to secure enough delegates for the Democratic ticket, and late in the month Sanders said he would be voting for frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the general election, ending the possibility that Sanders would run as a third party candidate.
In contrast, mentions of the other two remaining candidates, Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, rose steadily in June. Their confrontational rhetoric on social media continued to show the divide between the candidates, from Clinton telling Trump to “delete your account” on Thursday, June 9, to Trump regularly lashing out at “Crooked Hillary” from his own channel.
Clinton and Trump haven’t shown any desire to tone down their social media posts, especially as Twitter has benefitted Trump’s campaign: Once again, he earned more mentions (14.4M) and a larger Share of Voice (58.3%) last month than his rivals. With most national polls showing Trump falling behind Clinton in the electorate, though — in part because of his Twitter activity, including his polarizing response to the Orlando shooting on Friday, June 12 — the real estate developer may have to reconsider his social policy if he wants to win a fiercely contested general election.
With his campaign on a downward trajectory, Sanders earned his lowest Share of Voice (10.1%) since December 2015.
Mentions of Clinton spiked last month (59% growth), and the former New York Senator’s Share of Voice (31.6%) reached an all-time high as she continued to absorb the white space left by Sanders’s dissolving campaign. While many mentions of both candidates were negative — some of the top hashtags in Clinton-related posts, for example, included #NeverHillary — Clinton has been able to use social media to amplify her differences with Trump, as her “delete your account” post was re-tweeted nearly 500,000 times.