If you've been checking our blog lately, you'll see that our Support Index shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton by roughly 10 points in online support.
And if you compare that result to the polls, then you're probably wondering what is causing such a large lead for Trump since over the past month, polls have shown Clinton comfortably in the lead, with recent numbers show the race tightening into a tie.
The Support Index calculates an estimate of support for each candidate based on how many people are talking about the candidate and the sentiment towards the candidate within those online discussions. The main reason why Trump is constantly ahead in the Support Index is because his mentions online outnumber Clinton's by a 2 to 1 margin. This is not an Eyesover-only finding as the same margin applies to Google searches for the two candidates as well.
So there is obviously much more interest in Trump online than Clinton. But is this attention positive? Based on the polls, one would anticipate Trump's sentiment scores to be much lower than Clinton's. Yet this is where things get interesting because the Eyesover system has consistently found the sentiment towards Trump over the past month equal to if not greater than the sentiment towards Clinton. Both candidates earn a negative sentiment score on average, but for the most part, the two candidates have similar sentiment scores.
The combination of more people discussing Trump in addition to a sentiment that is similar to Clinton's, gives Trump an edge in the numbers of individual supporters online that the Support Index calculates for each candidate.
What will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks is if the polls continue to move towards the results we find online or if there is a clear difference in the opinions of online users compared to the overall population. Stay tuned!