Revisiting the American voter on Twitter

Huyen T. Le, G. R. Boynton, Yelena Mejova, Zubair Shafiq, Padmini Srinivasan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The American Voter - a seminal work in political science - uncovered the multifaceted nature of voting behavior which has been corroborated in electoral research for decades since. In this paper, we leverage The American Voter as an analysis framework in the realm of computational political science, employing the factors of party, personality, and policy to structure the analysis of public discourse on online social media during the 2016 U.S. presidential primaries. Our analysis of 50 million tweets reveals the continuing importance of these three factors; our understanding is also enriched by the application of sentiment analysis techniques. The overwhelmingly negative sentiment of conversations surrounding 10 major presidential candidates reveals more "crosstalk" from Democratic leaning users towards Republican candidates, and less vice-versa. We uncover the lack of moderation as the most discussed personality dimension during this campaign season, as the political field becomes more extreme - Clinton and Rubio are perceived as moderate, while Trump, Sanders, and Cruz are not. While the most discussed issues are foreign policy and immigration, Republicans tweet more about abortion than Democrats who tweet more about gay rights than Republicans. Finally, we illustrate the importance of multifaceted political discourse analysis by applying regression to quantify the impact of party, personality, and policy on national polls.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages4507-4519
Number of pages13
Volume2017-May
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: 6 May 201711 May 2017

Other

Other2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period6/5/1711/5/17

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Keywords

  • Election
  • Political affiliation
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

Cite this

Le, H. T., Boynton, G. R., Mejova, Y., Shafiq, Z., & Srinivasan, P. (2017). Revisiting the American voter on Twitter. In CHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Explore, Innovate, Inspire (Vol. 2017-May, pp. 4507-4519). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025543