Back in August, Twitter launched their own Political Index (TPI) to track Twitter users’ general feelings about the Presidential candidates. The index is calculated using an algorithm that weighs the sentiment of tweets mentioning Obama or Romney as compared to hundreds of millions of tweets on various other topics. Whatever number pops out is a percentile score, showing that tweets about said candidate are more positive than X% of all tweets.
For instance, President Obama’s TPI is 32, unchanged from yesterday. Mitt Romney’s TPI is 25, down 3 points from yesterday.
Today, Twitter is unveiling another politically-themed analytics dashboard – this time in the form of a Political Engagement Map. Instead of looking at how everyone’s tweets reflect on the candidates like the TPI, this new interactive map looks at how the candidate’s tweets resonated with everyone.
“Here’s how it works: Select Tweets, represented by a bar, from the left or right columns. Tweets are organized by engagement level, and the size of the bar indicates the level of engagement that Tweet received. Hovering over the bar previews the Tweet text, and clicking on it will show you the state by state engagement level. You can also search for specific terms to see Tweets from @BarackObama and @MittRomney about the topics that matter most to you,” says Twitter.
As of now, the most engaged the population ever was with a single tweet was on September 6th:
“No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.”—President Obama
That tweet saw the highest engagement in Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, District of Columbia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina, Nevada, and New Mexico. It saw the lowest in Idaho, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New Jersey.
Of course, “engagement” on Twitter entails retweets, favorites, and replies and such. Engagement doesn’t necessarily equate to support, or even any sort of positive feedback.
Once you’re done looking at the varying engagement levels of a single tweet across the states, you can re-filter the map to show “noteworthy reactions,” or places where the tweet was an outlier (meaning it saw a higher or lower engagement level than usual in that state). For Obama’s college tweet, the state of South Carolina showed a very noteworthy reaction.
You can also click on each state to see the list of tweets that made the most noise there. The state view will also tell you which five political topics saw the most engagement in that state. For instance in Kentucky, gay rights tweets from Obama showed the most resonance. Among tweets coming from Mitt Romney, it was the topic of energy and the environment that saw the most buzz.