When a negative story breaks in politics, it is always a challenge for the politician or political party to know what their next step should be. Whether the story is breaking in traditional media or online, in those first few hours, it is next to impossible to know how big the story is, who is talking about it, or how it is impacting the politician or party.
Let's take a look at Donald Trump's recent tweets about the "Squad." There is no question the overall impression of the tweets and the related backlash took a decidedly negative tone. Trump's overall average sentiment dropped 65% over the three days after he tweeted his comments (-0.0982 to -0.1618 on a -1 to +1 range via www.scottrasmussen.com). While our analysis usually finds the President’s sentiment in a slightly negative territory, it takes an enormous number of negative comments to drive the average sentiment below the -0.15 level.
But from where is the negativity coming? Is Trump losing supporters due to his comments, or is the backlash primarily from people who would never vote for him regardless of his actions? Many feel that much of Trump’s motivation for his approach to social media is to reinforce his base, so the importance of knowing the reaction of those who have previously indicated support for him can't be overstated.
As it happens, this is exactly the kind of analysis you can perform with Eyesover. From a sample (n=126,962) of accounts commenting on the President’s tweets over the past few days, we can determine how many people have changed their opinions towards POTUS. To do this, we compare the sentiment of previous comments to the sentiment currently being expressed from the same account.
The numbers show that while some previously positive individuals have turned negative, Trump has been gaining new supporters at roughly the same pace over the past few days. The lack of a significant change in supporters indicates the negativity shown in his overall sentiment scores is largely caused by individuals who have always spoken negatively about the President and are outside of the base of support he has built and is trying to maintain.
In any campaign, it is critical to know if changing issues require a change in strategy to mitigate risk or take advantage of opportunities. Eyesover provides the data campaigns need to determine when to change strategy or when to maintain the status quo.