With Donald Trump and Joe Biden having just wrapped up their second and final debate together, ListenFirst decided to take a closer look and see what social analytics could tell us about the two candidates’ performances, the topics that stood out, and what the social media audience is talking about most.
First Impressions Mattered More Around The Presidential Debates
There were 787,741 Tweets using the official #Debates2020 hashtag on October 22, 2020 in the United States. In comparison, there were 1,316,265 Tweets using the #Debates2020 hashtag on September 29, 2020; around the first presidential debate.
Sentiment Around Trump Was Less Negative Compared To The Previous Debate
There were 3,199,419 Tweets in the United States that mentioned Donald Trump on October 22, 2020 around the second debate which -43% less Tweets than the 5,626,707 that mentioned him on September 29, 2020, the day of the first debate. Still, Twitter sentiment around Donald Trump was 44% Negative and 14% Positive the day of the first debate, with that improving to 40% Negative and 18% Positive the day of the second debate. He generated less Tweets the second time around, because the Twitter audience viewed his performance as more steady.
Joe Biden has less variance on Twitter around the two debates. On September 29, 2020, there were 3,507,702 Tweets mentioning him, with sentiment around those Tweets being 44% Negative and 11% Positive. On October 22, 2020; Biden was mentioned in 3,126,047 Tweets with sentiment for those Tweets being 42% Negative and 12% Positive.
It appears the more civil second debate benefited both candidates; there was less negative conversation around Trump, while Biden was mentioned in a greater share of the online conversation compared to the first debate.
Trump Still Picking Up More New Followers on Debate Night
On the day of both debates, Trump outperformed Biden by every owned social metric. Joe Biden generated 112,211 new fans or followers on social media and 3,609,228 responses to the content he posted on September 29, 2020 with Biden receiving 94,228 new fans or followers and 3,714,619 responses to the content he posted on October 22, 2020.
In contrast, on September 29, 2020, Donald Trump generated 135,541 new fans or followers on social media and 10,928,044 responses to the content he posted. Meanwhile on October 22, 2020; he generated 115,227 new social media fans or followers with the content he posted receiving 11,864,718 responses on the day.
On Twitter, Biden Was More Linked To Hunter Than Trump Was To The Coronavirus
During the second debate, Joe Biden’s biggest line of attack was trying to blame Trump for the coronavirus response while Donald Trump attempted to steer the conversation to Biden’s son Hunter. It appears that Donald Trump was more successful at influencing the social media conversation. There were 290,061 Tweets in the United States that mentioned both Joe and Hunter Biden on October 22, 2020, with sentiment around those Tweets being 41% Negative and 8% Positive. Overall, there were 751,872 global Tweets mentioning both Joe and Hunter Biden on October 22, meaning 61% of the Tweets talking about the two were coming from outside of the United States.
Meanwhile, there were only 141,439 Tweets that mentioned both Donald Trump and the Coronavirus on October 22, 2020 in the United States, with sentiment around those Tweets being 45% Negative and 12% Positive.
There Was A Negative Response On Social To Biden’s Oil Policy
Perhaps the biggest policy news to come out of the second presidential debate was that Joe Biden wanted in the long term to transition away from the oil industry. It was not well received on Twitter. In the United States on October 22, 2020 there were 145,430 Tweets mentioning Joe Biden and either Oil or Fracking, with Twitter sentiment around those Tweets being 42% Negative and 6% Positive. 23% of the Tweets expressed the emotion of Anger specifically.
Twitter Panned Both Presidential Debate Moderators
Being the moderator of a presidential debate remains a rather thankless role. On television Kristen Welker received great reviews for her moderation of the second debate, for instance Chris Wallace admitted he was jealous that Welker got to moderate a debate where there weren’t hundreds of interruptions. However on Twitter, sentiment around both moderators was overwhelmingly negative.
There were 932,190 Tweets that mentioned Chris Wallace in the United States on September 29, 2020 with Twitter sentiment around him being 51% Negative and 13% Positive. Meanwhile there were 126,402 Tweets that mentioned the moderator Kristen Welker in the United States on October 22, 2020; with sentiment around those Tweets being 46% Negative and 17% Positive.
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