Trump Trumps Challengers on RTs

President Trump received a staggering number of retweets, compared to his 2020 challengers, showing his base’s unwavering support.

Confirmed 2020 presidential candidates may be sucking up plenty of media oxygen, but they’re lagging behind Trump when it comes to Twitter.

Last week, President Trump received an average of more than 18,500 retweets per tweet, while the second-most retweeted challenger, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), only received an average of 3,610 retweets. That means Trump’s average retweets were more than five times higher than any of his competitors, showing how engaged Trump’s supporter base is.

However, it’s worth noting that Trump has 57 times as many followers as Buttigieg, meaning that the mayor’s average retweet-to-follower ratio was 10 times higher than Trump’s.

Will these Twitter follower and retweet numbers matter at the ballot box? Only time will tell.


Who Raised the Barr?

All eyes were on U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s Senate hearing last week, but President Trump’s 2020 challengers’ focus on Barr varied widely on Twitter. Sen. Kamala Harris mentioned him 16 times on Twitter, while others like former Vice President Joe Biden did not mention Barr at all.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been at the center of the Mueller report aftermath due to controversy over the way he has handled its release.

Some of the 2020 presidential candidates’ Twitter feeds were focused on Barr and the Mueller investigation, perhaps highlighting a campaign strategy going forward. But other candidates were tight-lipped on the topic.

Two Democratic candidates from California—Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Eric Swalwell—tweeted the most about Barr, with 16 and 15 mentions, respectively. But five of the 22 confirmed candidates—including former technology executive Andrew Yang and former Vice President Joe Biden—did not mention Barr at all.


They Don’t Always Tweet about Trump, But When They Do…

The confirmed 2020 presidential candidates receive more engagement on Twitter when they go after President Trump. The group’s tweets mentioning “Trump” received, on average, more than 10 times as many retweets as their posts without a Trump hook.

Last week, tweets from the confirmed 2020 presidential candidates that mentioned President Trump received significantly more engagement than those that did not.

Overall, the 18 confirmed 2020 challengers had 130 tweets that mentioned Trump and 1,182 tweets that did not mention the president.  When looking at Twitter engagement, a clear trend emerged: the candidates perform better when they go after Trump.

The group’s tweets mentioning Trump received an average of 7,324 retweets per tweet, while tweets without a Trump hook only received 638 retweets on average. Nearly all of their Trump-related tweets criticized the president and his policies including health care, immigration, foreign affairs and climate change.

It appears Democrats are more motivated by opposition to Trump than the candidates’ specific platforms – at least on Twitter.


It’s Hard To Tweet Up With the President

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg had the highest Twitter engagement over the last week among President Trump’s 2020 challengers. But Buttigieg is still far behind the Tweeter in Chief, averaging about 15% as many retweets and 20% as many favorites.

President Donald Trump holds a huge lead among his 2020 challengers when it comes to Twitter engagement. Over the last week, the president’s original tweets received an average of 25,975 retweets and 110,439 favorites.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg had the next-highest engagement among confirmed 2020 presidential hopefuls, but his original tweets received just a small fraction of the engagement the president saw. Buttigieg had an average of 3,868 retweets and 22,029 favorites.

Is Twitter engagement an early indicator of electability? And, can Trump’s challengers catch up? We’ll be watching.


Is SXSW the New Iowa?

Eight of the 14 confirmed Democratic presidential candidates tweeted about or participated in the annual technology conference known as SXSW.

The “First in The Nation” primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire are never far from presidential candidates’ tweets—or their travel itineraries. But last week, all eyes were on Austin, TX, as the 2020 Democratic hopefuls mentioned the trendy innovation festival “South by Southwest” on Twitter more than both states combined.

More than half of the candidates tweeted about “SXSW,” showing that the hot Austin gathering is the newest political stump. The candidates used the festival to tweet about technology, climate change and the economy.


Can the 2020 Presidential Candidates Keep Up With Trump on Twitter?

Two 2020 presidential candidates surpassed the Tweeter in Chief in tweet volume this week, while other candidates tweeted far below the Trump Twitter threshold. Will it have an effect on their overall campaigns?

We’ve been tracking how the 2020 presidential candidates are using Twitter as a campaigning platform, but can they keep up with President Trump’s Twitter activity?

Two candidates surpassed Trump’s Twitter activity (73 tweets) over the last week. Former tech executive Andrew Yang (@AndrewYangVFA) had 237 tweets last week, while author and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) had 118 tweets.

On the other end of the tweet volume spectrum, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) had less than half as many tweets as President Trump, at 31 and 35, respectively.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on how the candidates are pacing with Trump on Twitter.


Tweeting Presidential

The confirmed Democratic 2020 presidential candidates appear to all be tweeting from the same playbook. The group’s most-used words include people, president, change, country, fight and Americans.

The 11 confirmed Democratic 2020 presidential candidates are in campaign-mode on Twitter. The group’s most-used words over the last week were people, president, change, country, fight and Americans.

A deep dive into the Twitter activity of individual candidates – such as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) – shows significant similarities in the language they use. Time will tell if this trend will continue as the field narrows, or if the candidates will begin to use the social media platform to differentiate themselves. We’ll be watching.


Harris Takes the Lead … On Twitter

Sen. Kamala Harris had the top three tweets last week among confirmed Democratic 2020 presidential candidates. In fact, her announcement that she’s making a White House run had about 3.5 times as many retweets as the next highest confirmed candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had the top three most-popular tweets last week among the confirmed Democratic 2020 presidential candidates. The top tweet from the group was Harris’ announcement that she was officially throwing her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. That tweet had 40,000 more retweets than the group’s next most-popular tweet (also from Harris).

Of the eight confirmed Democrats making a White House run, Harris’ announcement on Twitter received by far the most engagement.

Harris’ next-closest rivals received just a fraction of Harris’ engagement, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) announcement receiving 17,504 retweets, Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., receiving 5,723 retweets and Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) nabbing 4,162 retweets.

Only time will tell if Harris’ lead on Twitter will translate to the polls.


Harris Breaks Away From the 2020 Pack … on Twitter

Sen. Kamala Harris may be setting the groundwork for a 2020 presidential campaign. She had eight of the 10 top tweets by retweet among the rumored 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates last week.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has found her Twitter stride, dominating the potential 2020 Democratic Presidential hopefuls in tweet engagement over the last week. Harris had eight of the top 10 tweets by retweet among this group.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) still had the No. 1 tweet by retweet count, but it’s worth noting the difference in their follower base – Sanders has 7.99 million followers vs. Harris’ 1.96 million.

Harris’ top tweets focused on today’s most salient issues, including immigration, health care and decriminalizing marijuana. She also reminded her followers of her top priorities.

It appears Harris’ 2020 campaigning is beginning … on Twitter at least.


Points for Originality… but Does It Add Up to Votes?

Potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are quite original when it comes to their tweets. But they’ll have to increase their volume on Twitter to compete with Trump in 2020.

The majority of the rumored 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have one thing in common when it comes to their Twitter strategy: they tweet original content far more often than they retweet.

The one exception among these presidential hopefuls? Former HUD secretary Julian Castro, whose retweets account for 72.23% of his total Twitter activity this past week.

But when it comes to tweet volume, the Democratic presidential hopefuls have a long way to go to catch up with President Trump. The group tweeted an average of 22.6 times this week, compared to 67 tweets from the Tweeter in Chief.

While the potential Democratic candidates may get points for their originality, they’ll need to increase their volume to compete with Trump in 2020.