Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa, produced plenty of attention-grabbing hashtags and viral moments, including one final moment of tension between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, during which the two senators accused each other of lying.
But math, unlike politicians, doesn’t lie.
That’s why the candidate who should be the most pleased with all the debate-related Twitter chatter is one who wasn’t even in the debate. Businessman Andrew Yang failed to meet the polling threshold to participate in Tuesday’s event, but his supporters made their presence known nonetheless. According to new data from analytics firm Sprout Social, #AmericaNeedsYang was the top hashtag related to the debate on Tuesday, not counting general hashtags like #DemDebate or #DemocraticDebate. Bernie Sanders nabbed the No. 2 spot with #Bernie2020, while Yang landed in the No. 3 spot, too:
- #AmericaNeedsYang — 24,244 tweets
- #Bernie2020 — 16,514 tweets
- #YangGang — 12,221 tweets
For the upstart candidate who turned MATH (Make America Think Harder) into an acronym, those numbers aren’t too shabby.
Sprout Social measured social media volume and sentiment on January 14, the day of the debate. The data also shows that Sanders was the most talked-about candidate on the debate stage, with more than a million Twitter mentions on Tuesday. But 44% of those mentions were negative, the data shows. Sentiment around Warren wasn’t much better: 485,380 Twitter mentions, 41% of which were negative.
Overall, no candidate should be thrilled with how people are feeling about politics these days. Sprout Social’s data showed that 57% of the general Twitter chatter around Tuesday’s debate was negative, while only 21% was positive and 22% was unrated. Based on my own (unscientific) review of debate-related headlines over the past two days, I’d say those numbers probably add up.