Social media hasn’t been around long enough for pundits to determine how accurately it reflects the mood of a nation, but Democrats grasping for positive news might take hope from a shift in the tone on Twitter.
Our analysis of some 1.6 million tweets since August, using sentiment analysis software from market research firm Crimson Hexagon, shows a more favorable trend for President Obama’s party in recent weeks.
Our analysis of political opinions expressed by Twitter users shows that the ‘enthusiasm gap’ that previously favored the GOP over the Democratic Party seems to have evened out recently.
Our last analysis of the Twitter sentiment data provided by market research firm Crimson Hexagon indicated that while there were similar numbers of tweets criticizing both political parties, there were many more pro-GOP tweets posted on the social networking service than pro-Democratic ones – a result in line with what some saw as a lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters as the midterms approached.
In order to gauge the mood of voters as the midterms approach, Reuters has joined with market research company Crimson Hexagon to conduct a detailed assessment of the political mood as expressed by Twitter users. As a first step in this process we’re taking a look at the feeling expressed by Twitter users toward the Democratic and Republican parties in general.
This analysis is similar to one we conducted during the British general election earlier this year that showed changes in Twitter sentiment immediately following television debates and candidate gaffes that were echoed in opinion polls conducted days after the events.