Study: Tweets Can Predict Elections

Want to figure out who is going to win a congressional race? Find out which candidate received the lion’s share of tweets in the lead-up to Election Day. That’s the takeaway at the core of a newly-released study conducted by four researchers at Indiana University.
August 15, 2013

Want to figure out who is going to win a congressional race? Find out which candidate received the lion’s share of tweets in the lead-up to Election Day.

That’s the takeaway at the core of a newly-released study conducted by four researchers at Indiana University. The paper stands in stark contrast to other research assessing the usefulness of tweets in assessing public opinion, as well as a number of high-profile whiffs from the Twittersphere.

The study looked at more than 537 million tweets sent between the beginning of August and the start of November 2010, alongside 406 contested congressional elections. “Our results show that the percentage of Republican-candidate name mentions correlates with the Republican vote margin in the subsequent election,” the researchers write. “This finding persists even when controlling for incumbency, district partisanship, media coverage of the race, time and demographic variables such as the district’s racial and gender composition.”

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Politics