American’s Twitter Sentiments on Post 2016 US Elections

Mike Togle
December 28, 2016

To say that the results of the 2016 US Elections elicited a strong reaction from a large number of people is the understatement of the year, if not the decade. Euphoric supporters from the Trump campaign reveled at their surprise victory while silent shock could be seen in their counterparts at the Clinton HQ.

Needless to say, people are obviously stunned with the results, and not just the Americans but even us on the opposite side of the world. Trump’s victory is not what most people were expecting given the numerous poll results declaring Hillary as the next President.

Almost two weeks after the US Elections and few days before Thanksgiving Day in US, the Pointwest Data Science Team extracted some tweets to analyze the sentiment of the public during this period.

The extracted tweets are those created from the period of November 21 at around 6:40 PM until the following day, November 22 at around 8:46 AM. A total of 197, 863 tweets from 108, 680 different Twitter users are gathered. Most of the tweets are retweets with only 47, 402 that are not.

Post US Elections Twitter Word Cloud

Word Cloud of Twitter Sentiments on US Presidential Elections

Words that are very noticeable in a word cloud are the most used words in a document or a set of documents. In this case, we examined and processed set of tweets to create a word cloud. The most used terms from all the tweets the team has extracted are “Trump”, “video”, “hail”, “president”, “united”, “white”, “first”, “day”, “elect”, “call”, “state”, “american”, “college”, “people”, “business”, “donald”, and others. While it is hard to distinctly identify the most popular topics from the tweets extracted by just looking at the word cloud, results from topic analysis from the latter part of the article will help us understand the talking points further.

Electoral Candidate’s Share of Voice

Share of Voice Chart of Twitter Sentiments on US Presidential Elections

With Trump leading the elections, it is more likely that Twitter users would talk about him rather than Clinton, and the chart above supports that. The difference in share of voice is very remarkable. While the more than 175,000 tweets talked about him, it does not necessarily mean that people are happy about the results. So it just makes sense to examine the themes of the tweets, and scrutinize whether they are positive or not.

Polarity of Tweets on Donald Trump

Polarity Chart on Twitter Sentiments on Donald Trump

Less than half of the tweets about Trump are positive, and that is more than twice the number of negative tweets. These positive tweets can be expressions of support for Trump or for US under his leadership, or can be expressions of satisfaction on the results of the elections. To validate it, topic analysis is done. The results can be checked on the latter part of this article.

Polarity of Topics on Hillary Clinton

Polarity Chart on Twitter Sentiments on Hillary Clinton

For Clinton, although the number of tweets is relatively smaller compared to those for Trump, the ratio of positive to negative tweets is almost the same. The chart below shows the distribution of Clinton tweets by polarity.

Trending Election-Related Topics

‘Hail Trump’ Video

Keywords: hail, white, nationalists, cheering, video, salute, neo, nazi

One of the widely talked topics in the extracted tweets is the ‘Hail Trump’ video that quickly went viral. The video happened in an alt-right conference. In it, the audience of white nationalist Richard Spencer are seen offering cheers, applause and Nazi salutes as he delivers an anti-Semitic speech. A lot of Americans are expressing their concern over this matter. Trump immediately disavowed the group, which delighted the public.

Conflict of Interest

Keywords: argentina, argentine, ivanka, saudi, macri, eight, business, tower, trump

Unlike many of his rivals – who are political leaders – Donald Trump is a billionaire businessman and comes to office with substantial business interests. It is inevitable that questions of propriety regarding these economic activities will be made, given the political power he will wield.

An example is on accusations of conflict of interest made on Twitter as details concerning a call from the president of Argentina spread online. President Macri called Trump to congratulate him for being the President-Elect and speculations about Trump asking favors and talking about his building permit for the Trump Tower in Buenos Aires circulated online. The supposed green-lighting of the project that came after the alleged phone call added fuel to these speculations.

Although this was later denied by the Argentine officials, it was then revealed by President Macri that Ivanka Trump sat in on his call to Trump which further elicited negative reactions. The news about Trump having registered eight companies in Saudi during the campaign period also spread along with this issue.

Off-the-record Meeting

Keywords: meeting, media, tower, trump, liars

Another event that took place and gathered so much attention on Twitter is the off-the-record meeting of Trump with the network executives and anchors of ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News and Fox Business Network that allegedly  happened in Trump Tower. The meeting was supposed to be a closed-door one but some journalists deemed it necessary to share the story about what they described as the ‘disaster’ to the public. Trump calling media executives and anchors ‘liars’ focused the attention of the people to this issue

Transition in White House

Keywords: transition, video, first, policy, obama, cabinet, trans, pacific, update, day

A lot of people in Twitter are also sharing the video of Trump updating the public on the status of the White House transition and also outlining the policy plans he intends to do when he takes office in January. This video was well-received by the public. Tweets showed that a lot of Americans agrees and delights with his update and plans. Reports of Trump meeting with the Cabinet hopefuls also appeared in the tweets.

Meanwhile, president Obama has indicated that he will speak out if Trump does something that threaten ‘core values’ earning him some negative reactions.

‘Electoral College Electors: Make Hillary Clinton President on December 19’

Keywords: hillary, clinton, electoral, college, electors, december, stop

With Clinton’s lead in popular-vote, a lot of discussions about the Electoral College is being made by the people. Clinton’s name is often mentioned in these discussions. A lot of people are also sharing the link of a site containing a petition for making Hillary Clinton president on December 19.

Although most tweets mentioning Hillary is to support her or to share the link for the petition, there are also others that are against her.

Hamilton and “President” Mike Pence

Keywords: mike, pence, vp, hamilton

Mentions of the Mike Pence’s incident with the Chicago cast of Tony award-winning musical Hamilton, where they gave a post-show speech to the Vice President-elect (who watched the show that evening), are seen in the tweets. News stating ‘Hamilton stars haven’t voted in years’ is also circulating (the cast are mostly minorities).

Speculations of Trump’s impeachment or resignation to give Mike Pence the seat in the oval office and of Mike Pence being the Republican Party’s nominee for the next presidential race is also rampant.

Results of the Analysis

Donald Trump is now the 45th president of America, which was set in stone on the 19th of December when the electors cast their votes – when the real elections took place. With lots of people sharing the link of a petition for making Hillary Clinton the president, it can be said that a lot were still hoping for her victory. But based on the tweets collected, their number is rather few compared to those posts, discussions and links being shared related to Donald Trump and his presidency.

Trump is truly a man surrounded by  controversy and the tweets collected seem to support this. In the span of almost two weeks from election day, a lot of things involving Trump and him being the next President happened that got the attention of the people that may have redirected their focus from Clinton to Trump and the future of America in his hands.

With a lot of things happening in social media, topics just come and go with only a few staying for a long time, but nothing is forgotten. Results of this analysis shows that a lot of people’s attention are on Trump and most of the Tweets mentioning him have a sentiment of either positive or neutral. But we are anticipating that towards December 19, mentions of Hillary will become rampant again on Twitter.

The abrupt change in the sentiment of the people is caused by the fast-paced flow of information, and with the many things that are happening everyday. But the sentiment of the public in social media not only mirrors our society, but it may also have the power to change it.

Hillary Clinton is not the first US Presidential candidate to have garnered the most popular votes – over a two million lead as of 2016’s Thanksgiving Weekend – but lost the contest due to the intricacies of the Electoral College. Her fellow Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry would understand.

But hers may be the first ever in US electoral history where the the candidate was touted to win, hands-down, by virtually every poll leading to the elections, only to lose so badly.

The reactions from that fateful day on November 8, 2016, reverberate up to this day.


Carry on a conversation with us through the comments below, or you can send a message or inquiry about our Analytics Services.

Founded in 2003 by pioneers of the Philippine Global Sourcing industry, Pointwest creates value for its list of satisfied clients — including top Fortune 100 and local companies — with world-class IT and BPM services backed by international-standards methodologies and innovative practices.