How folks were talking about the United States Presidential election forecast (with sentiment analysis)

Written by: Josh Rosenberg

Primary Source:  Joshua M. Rosenberg – November 10, 2016

How folks were talking about the United States Presidential election forecast (with sentiment analysis) – Joshua M. Rosenberg

Out of an interest in how folks thought and were talking about the United States Presidential election forecast, I used TAGS to track tweets including both the words “forecast” and “election”, “model” and “election”, “predict” and “election”, and tweets mentioning the Twitter account for Five Thirty Eight, and those of a few other forecast-related accounts.

All the data and a file to do the analysis in R are here.

On Tuesday (day of the election) and Wednesday (day after the election), there were more than 200,000 tweets.

I used a new R package for sentiment analysis and looked at the percentage of positive and negative tweets and those possibly reflecting other emotions.

The result?

forecastemo

People seemed to be expressing a lot of “trust” – in the forecasts of the election – the morning of the election. Starting around 9:00 pm and peaking at 11:00 pm, folks started to express a lot of “surprise”. Over the next day, both negative and positive tweets seemed to become more common in tweets, until tweets expressing more positive emotions – perhaps coming to terms with the election.

So, pretty interesting, perhaps, but not telling too much without looking more at the tweets.

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Joshua M. Rosenberg is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at Michigan State University. In his research, Joshua focuses on how social and cultural factors affect teaching and learning with technologies, in order to better understand and design learning environments that support learning for all students. Joshua currently serves as the associate chair for the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Special Interest Group in the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Joshua was previously a high school science teacher, and holds degrees in education (M.A.) and biology (B.S.).