Election Tracker: Debates and Conventions, Part 1

The first debate between Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump has concluded at Hofstra University, and while it might take a while to see if the country has recovered we do have some data on what the political class were talking about before, during and after the rumble on Long Island. (For added perspective, we’re also including an analysis of what was being said during each party’s convention over the summer).

First Presidential Debate

Held on the night of September 26th, 2016, the first debate was much more popular, according to number of mentions, with Democratic candidates. These numbers were generated by searching the voxgov database with the terms ‘Debate’ and ‘#debatenight’ during the period of September 26-27.

Democratic Candidates – 1,098

Republican Candidates – 472

That’s a pretty remarkable difference, considering the high profile nature of a presidential debate and the scrutiny this particular one was under. Does it demonstrate an enthusiasm gap between the candidates from the two different parties?

It does, however, seem to continue a trend we saw in the two party’s national conventions, when it was Democrats who were often the most active, even during their rival’s convention.

Republican Convention

The Republican National Convention (RNC) was held in Cleveland, OH from July 18-21. (We included the days surrounding the convention as well.)

Donald Trump was the most referenced name during the RNC (not a surprise), but what were the other big terms to come out of the gathering?

Term Mentions
#RNCinCLE 1,086
Veterans 423
Violence 398
Prayers 343
Police Officers 246
Shooting 242

On the day Donald Trump was nominated, current Democrats were the most prolific, followed by Republican Candidates, current Republicans, Democratic Candidates, and Independents.

Democratic Convention

The Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia, PA from July 25th-29th. (We included the days surrounding the convention as well.)

Among politicians (both current officeholders and major candidates), unsurprisingly, Hillary Clinton topped the trending names during the Democratic National Convention. Other top terms:

Term Mentions
#DemsinPhilly 1,521
Women 636
Veterans 411
#ImWithHer 275
#BetterWay 204
Gun 181


On the day of Hillary Clinton’s nomination, Democratic Candidates topped other groups with the most releases, followed by current Republicans, Republican Candidates, current Democrats and Independents.


Interestingly, during both conventions it was politicians from the Democratic Party that were the most active group, perhaps saying something the enthusiasm of current Democrats towards their nominee, and Democratic candidates desire to attack the Republican nominee. This trend seems to be continuing down the stretch of the election, if the gap in interest in talking about the first presidential debate is significant. We’ll continue to update our tracking as the election goes on, or you can do your own research using voxgov’s enormous database of information from the US government!

Comments are closed