Leading up to the 2016 we used our unique methodology to predict the outcome of the US Presidential Election. To do this the team conducted analysis of all publicly available online conversations in Florida in relation to both Clinton and Trump. The purpose was to find out what Floridians were thinking, feeling and what was driving sentiment towards each candidate.
Fear and self-loathing may be about to push America to President Trump
While the polls have Hillary Clinton in a narrow lead, Florida's social media data tells a different story.
The social media analysis company Impact Social looked at 160,000 social media posts and commentary in open news forums in the key swing state of Florida, where President Obama said 'win Florida and it’s a wrap’.
What's striking is the fact that amongst that (very large) body of posts which support Trump, around half of them are simply made up of attacks on Clinton. The hatred of Hillary is quite startling – casting her as a liar, crooked and corrupt, with the on-off kerfuffle of the FBI's renewed investigation into her use of emails fuelling that fire. Trump has taken a consistently aggressive line against all sorts of targets (Mexicans to Muslims) throughout this campaign. As the big day draws near, his attacks have narrowed to just one person. And they are landing.
The pro-Clinton data, smaller in number, seems to be of a happier disposition, with only 10% anti-Trump and the rest making much of their support, or Obama's, or the media's or a celebrity endorsement. All, unwittingly, backing Trump's stance as himself as the lone man standing against the establishment.
The problem for Clinton is that, while there are Republicans who can't vote for Trump, very few of them can vote for her. A stronger Democratic candidate would have sewn things up on the basis of Trump's divisiveness, but Clinton is no unifier.
And assuming that Trump's pussy-grabbing, Muslim-banning, wall-building, Putin-loving persona would turn voters off assumes that they take these things seriously as any kind of policy in the first place. In this post-factual world, they are seen as postures, not policies and, set against Clinton's carefully explained positions, they simply appear to be more digestible.
It doesn't paint a happy picture of a healthy democracy, but there are two hopes for the Clinton campaign. One is that the polls are right and the social media is wrong. Cling to that, by all means, but remember that this data represents information freely volunteered online, in a country with very high digital penetration. And remember how well the polls did over Brexit.
This is an excerpt of an article that originally featured in the International Business Times.