We already know that 2016 will go down in history as one of the wildest election years in U.S. history. The SNL skits alone could make the books. And with both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention coming up in July, things are sure to heat up even more.
So who’s talking about it? Where are they from? What are they talking about? This is the information we took a look at when we analyzed the hashtags #DNC and #RNC. Were people using #RNC typical Republicans and #DNC typical Democrats? Short answer: yes. Long answer: not at all. Here’s why:
Let’s start with who’s talking about it.
The shocking numbers lie not within the two groups differences, but in their similarities. Both #DNC and #RNC majority users are in the 51-70 age range rather than the 21-40 age group. #RNC had 43% in the 51-70 age range and 22% in the 21-40 age range. #DNC with 39% and 26%, respectively. This is surprising considering 62% of users on Twitter are under 44 according to a Business Insider study. Even more surprising for the #DNC group considering this election season created the boom for millennials in the Democratic party through Bernie Sanders support. Perhaps the seeming lack in participation lies in the frustration of seeing Sanders, the crowd favorite, out of the race.
Now, where are they from?
Traditionally and stereotypically, we see the Republican party pulling strong in the southern states and the Democratic party with huge support on the coastal states. But that’s not the case according to this data. Again we’re surprised in the similarities rather than the differences.
These maps are nearly identical with only slight differences across a few states. We see basically even colors reflecting the percentage across both maps. While part of this data reflects the overall population across states, it also reflects how vocal people are across the nation. There are slight differences that reflect the stereotypes, with 2% differences in California and Texas leaning towards their respective parties. However the biggest difference is in Ohio with a 5% difference in favor of #RNC. Ohio was one of many statement events in this election season when Gov. John Kasich, a dark horse behind names like Trump and Cruz, won the Republican primary in his home state. Although he will not be the GOP candidate, we can still expect a large amount of Republican activity from the state.
What are they talking about?
The 2016 election season has not been noteworthy solely due to the candidates, but because of recent social issues, reform and events. With movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, gay marriage rights, the refugee crisis and more, social platforms for candidates are as important and prevalent as ever. Planned Parenthood made headlines with both the video incident and clinic shooting, raising questions on both abortion rights and gun control.
When analyzing the top nonprofit accounts followed by #DNC and #RNC users, we really see those differences and one surprising similarity.
Both MoveOn.org and Democracy Now!, the top two nonprofits under #DNC, are groups that label themselves as independent groups where all can discuss and support democracy. The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and Heritage Foundation, the top two nonprofits under #RNC, openly support the Republican party. But Planned Parenthood was the number three most followed nonprofit for both groups. Surprising considering the Republican party has often spoken out against the organization.
What does this mean?
When it boils down, everyone is talking about the same issues. Whether it’s for or against those issues, they’re being talked about. And they’re being talked about by everyone everywhere. We did see a lot of similar info, which could be a result of users using both hashtags in posts, but in these similarities were surprises. There are more baby boomers talking about the election than millennials on Twitter. The most people talking about the conventions live in Texas, California and Ohio. And both parties follow Planned Parenthood. The data continues to proves us right and wrong in ways we couldn’t have anticipated.