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Live Free or Die Trying: 2020 New Hampshire Primary

With Iowa and the impeachment trial behind us (loose ends in both cases withstanding), the country move forwards to New Hampshire where the live free or die state will help add clarity to the echo of recent months: let the people decide.

Like the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire contest is a time honored tradition in American politics. Unlike Iowa, New Hampshire holds a primary meaning it is more like a regular election than the Iowa Caucuses which require everyone to vote in a particular place and time under specific guidelines…which should run into less issues than Iowa did this past week.

New Hampshire has also been known to be a real or near graveyard for the ambitions of some sitting presidents including Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush who saw primary challengers damage their ability to win the general election. Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh hope to deliver a similar blow to President Trump but the real attention will be in the Democratic Party primary.

One recent poll suggests that former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders got a boost from their strong finish in Iowa while former Vice President Joe Biden seems to have suffered from his unexpected fourth place finish in the Hawkeye State. But polls are just one way to measure election support. Social media can provide an interesting not all always representative view of the country’s election mindset. For this we dive into Social Studio to see what everyone is saying about the New Hampshire Primary.


Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders

Recent polls suggest that Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are frontrunners in the New Hampshire Primary. Source: Politico

A search for “New Hampshire” and “Primary” in Social Studio produced 36,000 hits as we are in the last week before the votes are cast. 86% or about 30,700 of these hits were from Twitter. Scanning through the tweets, there are a number of Bernie Sanders supporters out in force. There are also those retweeting Donald Trump Jr. We could also look closer at what people are saying in case we wanted a particular perspective of say older voters who tend to make up a large portion of primary elections.

We can look at several aspects of older voter perspectives on these issues such as looking at what hashtags they use in their comments of the New Hampshire primary. Of the 39 who used hashtags, 8 of these were simply #NewHampshirePrimary. But five use Bernie Sanders related hashtags (such as #Bernie2020 or #Medicareforall).

A trend on Twitter seems to be that Bernie Sanders supporters are very vocal and use the tools of the system such as hashtags to help get their message out. One study of potential interest might be why is it that Bernie Sanders supporters (even his older supporters) seem to do that more than say those supporting Joe Biden? This is just one example of how doing exploratory searching in Social Studio can lead to interesting and potentially useful research leads. Have you logged into Social Studio yet? All sorts of opportunities await! Simply ask someone at the Social Studio for more information on getting your own account. Your topic is out there just waiting for you to find it. Get started today!