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In presidential campaign, Twitter was a powerful political tool

Sharon Gaudin | Nov. 9, 2016
Twitter reports 1 billion election-related tweets since August 2015.

The contentious presidential election lit up Twitter with users posting more than 1 billion tweets about the election since the Republican debates began in August 2015.

“This has been called the Twitter Election, with every step of the campaign playing out in Tweets from voters, candidates, and journalists,” wrote Bridget Coyne, Twitter's senior manager of government and politics, in a blog post.

That 1 billion tweets figure, however, was reported Monday night – the eve of the actual election.

That means if the campaigns, as well as everyday American users, take to Twitter to fret, argue and celebrate the results of today’s election, that number could jump considerably.

Twitter reported at 11 a.m. today, at its peak, election-related tweets were coming in at 27,000 per minute.

clinton tweet delete
Twitter This was the most retweeted tweet of the whole election cycle, according to Twitter.

At one point this morning, all but one U.S. Twitter Trend was about voting. At 1 p.m. ET, #pantsuit, #ElectionDay and #dedicatethevote were trending.

The presidential election has fueled Twitter over the past 18 months with political memes, live streamed debates, and millions of tweets and retweets praising and griping about the candidates and the issues.

Twitter said there were some spikes in tweets during the primaries, especially Super Tuesday on March 1, as well as during the Republican and Democratic national conventions in July.

However, the biggest spikes came during the presidential debates, when the Clinton and Trump campaigns worked to get out their messages and citizens tweeted their support of their favorite candidate or their derision of the one they opposed.

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Twitter This was one of Donald Trump's most retweeted tweets. 

The first of the three presidential debates was hailed as the most-tweeted debate in Twitter's history, according to the social media site, although the company did not release specific numbers about the number of tweets posted.

Republican nominee Donald Trump had the most tweeted moments during that first debate. The site lit up when Trump said he had a good temperament, when he commented on stop-and-frisk, and when the candidates talked about their plans for defeating ISIS.

During the course of the campaign however, Trump’s most retweeted comments didn’t come during the debates.

On July 20, he tweeted one of his most retweeted comments, writing, “The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails.” Trump was referring to reports that his wife's speech at the Republican National Convention plagiarized a speech given by first lady Michelle Obama.

 

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