Digital & Social Media

Election Trends: April


Each month during the lead up to the U.S. general election, FleishmanHillard TRUE will put together a buzz report for the top candidates in each party. Conducted through FleishmanHillard’s TrueIQ platform, this analysis helps to identify which and how potential presidential candidates are talked about on social media. While the goal of this report is to highlight interesting trends, it is worth noting that the analysis does not take sentiment into account, and we do not claim that this would be representatives of poll numbers.

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Overall mentions of the five remaining presidential candidates plummeted (-36%) in April, a trend which correlates with a lack of interest in the two races. Each party’s frontrunner has gone from being a “likely candidate” to “all but guaranteed to become their party’s representative.”

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For the Democrats, that means former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who entered May with an unassailable, 808-delegate lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – is one step closer to the White House. As a result of her momentum at the polls, Clinton’s share of overall buzz was at an all-time high (17.2%) in April, and mentions of Clinton (4.7M) remained robust. While Clinton still lagged behind Sanders in both share of voice (18.3%) and mentions (4.9M), that’s a testament to the Vermont Senator’s hard-fought campaign, which was able to engage young voters on social media at an almost unprecedented rate.

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As the presumed Democratic nominee, Clinton has also become the regular target of fiery real estate developer Donald Trump, who’s inching closer toward a majority of the Republican Party’s delegates. Trump’s share of buzz (42.7%) and mentions (11.9M) plummeted, month over month, in large part because he was embroiled in fewer controversies than March, when protests, rallies and inflammatory statements pushed Trump to more than half of overall buzz (53.4%). For Trump, who’s having no difficulty mobilizing millions of first-time voters, that’s not an issue. It’s his rivals in the race, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who need to rally people behind them to force a contested convention. Despite a grudging partnership between the challengers, though, their popularity hasn’t grown on social media, as Cruz (5.1M) and Kasich (.78M) combined for fewer than 6M mentions.