The U.S. Presidential Candidates took the stage for presumably the final time before Election Day, now just over two weeks away. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s bids for the presidency have been contentious and the final meeting proved to be no different. Civil gestures were forgone as the candidates refrained from shaking each other’s hands before and after the debate.
The long and arduous journey to the White House seems to be leaving Americans weary. Social media engagements during the final debate declined. Compared to the second debate, Clinton’s social media engagements were down 17%, compared to Trump’s 55% reduction. Trump’s sentiment also reached a low, down 3% to 52%. Clinton’s sentiment increased 13% over the previous debate and for the first time during the debate series, she received more social media engagements than her rival.
Clinton’s top moment in social media came when on the heels of the debate’s conclusion, she called out Trump on Twitter for calling her, “Such a nasty woman.” The moment that generated the most social engagement overall during the debate was when the candidates attacked one another – Trump using John Podesta and Bernie Sanders’ previous comments about Clinton and Clinton accusing Trump of being the most dangerous person to run for president in the history of America.
Two moments from the debate are shaping TV news as a whole while Americans consider who they’ll vote for in two weeks. The moment receiving the most rebroadcasts was when Trump bucked historical precedent of accepting the election results, instead saying he’d wait to see the final outcome before determining if the election is rigged. Second is when Trump denied and blamed the Clinton campaign for the sexual assault allegations against him.
Of course, the moments shaping voter perception will depend on the networks being watched. Aside from the candidate introductions, the top moment among cable news networks was when Clinton stated Putin would “rather have a puppet for a president.” The segment was the most popular segment for MSNBC and CNN with 6 and 4 rebroadcasts respectively.
The top moment on Fox News with 8 rebroadcasts was Trump stating Haiti doesn’t want help from the Clinton Foundation.
Brands are looking to take advantage of the national sentiment toward the election. Excedrin launched a social campaign with the hashtag #debateheadache before the final debate which struck a cord with American viewers. The hashtag was shared more than 42,000 times across Twitter during the debates, a 602% lift compared to an hour before the debate.
The most #debateheadache-inducing moments were when Clinton called Trump Putin’s puppet and when Clinton raised Trump’s history of going after reporters, Gold Star Families, POWs, and Federal Judges.
The campaign demonstrates that live moments, even when disagreeable, are powerful opportunities for brands to connect with second-screening audiences by delivering contextually relevant content that matches the emotional state.
The pulse of social indicates that November 8 cannot come quickly enough for voters. No doubt, the end of the election cycle will bring about a shift in national sentiment. Paying attention to consumers’ behaviors and feelings through real-time social insights will help brands keep pace and connect with consumers, no matter what’s in store for the next 4 years.