What a Hashtag Can Explain About Voter Preference

Feb 1, 2016

Since 2009, University of Iowa political science professor Bob Boynton has been researching what Twitter can uncover that political polls cannot. Specifically, he says that tweets directly reflect what individuals are thinking, instead of being interpreted by the mainstream media.

"The reach of this is really quite extraordinary," says Boynton.

For the 2012 election, his research focused mostly on what Iowans thought of each candidate's character. The final results of his research showed Barack Obama twelve points ahead of Mitt Romney in terms of positive character traits mentioned on Twitter.

On this River to River segment, host Ben Kieffer talks with Boynton about what the Twitter data from this election cycle can tell us about Iowan concerns and how the electorate feels about each candidate.