Digital analytics show Pence dominating the online political conversation

By Ashley Steeb
TheStatehouseFile.com

CLEVELAND — In an online political shift, Gov. Mike Pence has been leading the digital discussion since the big announcement that he’d be Donald Trump’s running mate.

“The conversation went from around Donald Trump—which is what we had seen from over a year—to Gov. Pence,” Michael Venet, an account executive for a media analytics company, said. “And he just dominated the conversation on both sides—from the Donald Trump environment itself, but also from the Hillary perspective and Hillary fans.”

This Zignal Labs display shows the current trending emojis being used in online posts about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Account executive Michael Venet said in recent days Gov. Mike Pence has taken over the online conversation as people discuss his new role as a vice presidential candidate. Photo by Rachel Hoffmeyer, TheStatehouseFile.com

This Zignal Labs display shows the current trending emojis being used in online posts about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Account executive Michael Venet said in recent days Gov. Mike Pence has taken over the online conversation as people discuss his new role as a vice presidential candidate. Photo by Rachel Hoffmeyer, TheStatehouseFile.com

Venet works for Zignal Labs, an organization that monitors online media for businesses. Zignal Labs has been gathering and analyzing digital reactions, such as social media posts, news reports and other forms of online engagement, since the 2016 presidential campaign began last year.

According to Venet, Gov. Mike Pence garnered the most media reactions for three days—from the official vice presidential announcement on Friday until Monday when accusations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech took over as the discussion online.

In Indiana, Venet said online engagement surged on the day of the official announcement as Hoosiers followed the unfolding developments.

As you would expect, the nature of the online reactions from across the country vary based on the person’s political affiliation. Venet said the Donald Trump supporters were happy Pence was chosen for the vice presidential position, while the Hillary Clinton supporters had a completely different opinion.

“On the Clinton profile, there was a lot of conversation around Gov. Pence, but it is as what you think—not necessarily flattering towards the governor,” Venet said. “People were saying ‘He wasn’t the right pick’ or ‘He would be an easier target and kind of shouldn’t be the VP.’”

As for which emoji is used most with Pence’s name online, Venet said they haven’t had enough time to compile that data. However, he expects Pence’s emoji trend will be similar to Trump’s. For the Republican presidential nominee, the most popular emoji used in online reactions overall is the train, used as a reference to supporters who get on the “Trump train.” Second most popular Trump emoji? That laughing/crying face.

Ashley Steeb is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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