Coming out of the Houston Democratic Debate, the frontrunners held their positions in the top three, but we noted that online activity surrounding the candidates in the 4th to 8th positions indicated some changes in positions could be afoot.
Close to two weeks after the debate, the significant post-debate trend that has gained the most attention is Warren’s gains on Biden, but we see some other online trends that look familiar and could be positive for Andrew Yang.
In the debate, Yang and O’Rourke ensured they grabbed the public’s attention with their performances. They registered the second and third most discussion online of the ten candidates, and both had relatively positive sentiment.
After two weeks, it is clear that while both candidates have been able to maintain a large share of the attention in the race measured by their number of mentions, O’Rourke’s focused message on gun control is not being received positively as his online sentiment has fallen to his negative pre-debate levels. Conversely, Yang’s mentions have remained strongly positive over the past two weeks.
Yang’s combination of positive sentiment and a strong volume of mentions is the same trend we saw in early March when Pete Buttigieg’s numbers started to move from almost zero to just under ten percent throughout May and June. Emerson’s recent poll that has Yang at eight percent provide a clue that his campaign might have the same kind of momentum Buttigieg enjoyed in the early summer.
Of course, Buttigieg’s numbers have retreated back to an average of six recently, demonstrating the challenges of maintaining momentum over the long haul.
It remains to be seen if this is a blip for Yang or the start of a longer-term trend, but the recent metrics we see online are moving in the right direction for his campaign.