The reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys. This is the conclusion of a year-long Pew Research Center study that compared the results of national polls to the tone of tweets in response to eight major news events, including the outcome of the presidential election, the first presidential debate and major speeches by Barack Obama.
The pro-Democratic or liberal tilt of tweets was not always apparent in the Pew Research Center case studies. The reaction on Twitter to Obama’s second inaugural address and his 2012 State of the Union was not nearly as positive as public opinion.
The contrast was particularly striking in assessments of last year’s State of the Union. The president’s speech was generally well-received by the public: 42% said they had a positive reaction while 27% had a negative reaction. On Twitter, however, the conversation about Obama’s speech was far more negative (40%) than positive (21%). Read the rest at Pew Research.