Digital & Social Media

Election Trends: July

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Each month until the general election, FleishmanHillard TRUE will release a buzz report for each major party’s candidate. This analysis is conducted through FleishmanHillard’s TrueIQ platform and will help identify the candidates that are being talked about on social media. While this report provides interesting fodder for discussion, it does not take into account sentiment, and may not be representative of poll numbers.

Mentions of the remaining two presidential candidates from the major parties, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, first spiked in July when the F.B.I. announced it wouldn’t recommend filing charges against Clinton in her emails scandal.

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The social response to that incident, in which Trump tweeted that “Crooked Hillary” only escaped charges because of her husband — former president Bill Clinton — would set the tone for the rest of the month. Both candidates targeted one another in a constant, negative back-and-forth on Twitter throughout the month and into the party conventions, which helped cause a significant increase in mentions for Trump (+23%) as well as Clinton (+55%).

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Last month marked Clinton’s second consecutive month of at least 50% growth in mentions, in part because her critical tweets during the Republican National Convention were widely shared. Clinton’s post about the people Trump doesn’t get along with, for example — “women, African Americans, LGBT people, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants,” according to Clinton — was retweeted more than 31,000 times, or more than any of Trump’s tweets during the same time period.

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Similarly, Trump used Twitter to stay in the national news cycle during the Democratic National Convention. Trump’s tweet inviting Russia to “share (Clinton’s deleted emails) with the FBI” was retweeted more than 24,000 times, making it more successful than any of Clinton’s content during the Democratic convention. A lesson from July could be that negative content and confrontational rhetoric on Twitter is able to help these candidates steal the spotlight.