Showdown in Vegas: The Social Spin

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They squared off for the final time

“Such a nasty woman.” Trump’s sideswipe at the former Secretary of State was by far the most negative moment of the third and final Presidential debate, according to a real-time analysis of social media by Austin-based social marketing platform Spredfast.

Spredfast listens 24/7 to the global online conversation on behalf of its clients, monitoring for spiking topics and sentiment. It’s also been taking the social temperature of this election for months (it seems like years). They agreed to feed us data about the final debate, and here are the highlights.

  • The top issue of the night, as judged by social channels, was women. The most important topics for identifiable Clinton supporters were abortion, immigration and Russia; for Trump supporters, immigration, Wikileaks and Russia.
  • Consistent with that, the social conversation spiked most when the candidates discussed a woman’s right to choose, with discussions of Russia and Wikileaks, and securing the border, in second and third place.
  • The debate had little effect on people’s feelings about Clinton: There was a small increase in negative sentiment (up two percent), but positive sentiment remained about the same. For Trump, however, there was a dramatic decrease in positive sentiment before and after (down eight percent).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the third debate had slightly less social traction than the first two. Most Clinton supporters were tweeting and posting from New York, California and Pennsylvania—a state Trump has considered winnable—in that order; Trump supporters from Virginia, California and Texas. 

And whatever it may say about the 2016 election, the top Twitter content by engagement? All wisecracks: Leading the pack, a one word tweet from Secretary Clinton’s account—”Hombres?”—and a remark by the comedian Sarah Silverman: “Nuclear codes? We clearly can’t even trust this man with a self-tanner.”

–Thanks to Spredfast for supplying the data for this article

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