The intensity of Facebook conversation that Presidential candidate Donald Trump has generated since the end of February is greater than that of any other presidential candidate. A week ago, the total count of likes, posts, shares and comments Trump generated on Facebook was 52 million, which is higher than Hillary Clinton’s 24 million and John Kasich’s 2.5 million, says a report from USA Today.
Only tells intensity, not sentiment
In the past few weeks, The number of interactions about Trump made per Facebook user has increased, making him stand apart from the pack. Relative intensity (the total number of interactions about the candidates divided by the number of unique users participating in that conversation) has been calculated based on data provided by Facebook.
It has been observed that Trump generated the most interactions of 4.6 per user, which is higher than that of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both of whom generated 4.2 interactions per user. Ted Cruz generated 4, and John Kasich generated 2.8 interactions per user, the report said.
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This clearly indicates an increase in the intensity level of conversations about the campaign and the candidates, notes Eric Wilson, a digital political strategist who worked for Marco Rubio’s campaign this year. However, it is not possible to evaluate the sentiment of this intensity.
Wilson notes, “I imagine that there are a lot of intense feelings about Donald Trump from people who are supportive of him and from people who don’t like him.”
Since it is a measure of comments per user instead of raw volume, it is one of the only social media graphs on which we would get to see “Donald Trump and John Kasich on the same scale,” he added
Intensity on Facebook keeps changing
Until June 2015 when no one had announced a presidential bid, Kasich was generating much higher intensity than Trump on Facebook. In July, USA Today reported that on the day on which Ted Cruz made his presidential announcement, he generated the highest level of intensity on Facebook compared to any other presidential candidate, with Scott Walker following closely.
If we look at it from the Democratic side, then Bernie Sanders was ahead of Clinton in terms of intensity for most of the last year, but she managed to catch up at the end of October, and since then, their numbers have been rising in tandem, the report said.
David Goodsmith, who works with data analytics firm DataScience, noted an increase in Facebook conversations about Clinton through March, even when the total volume of conversation about her trended downward.