IntenCheck Blog

IntenCheck Blog

US Presidential Elections 2016 – Case Study

In December, we analyzed the social media sources for the candidates participating in the US Senate elections and created communication profiles for the winners and losers based on IntenCheck’s 26 psycholinguistic categories and the election results. Now, as the US presidential election campaigns have already started, we decided to analyze the presidential candidates for 2016.

In our analysis of the presidential candidates, we used the profiles previously created for winners and losers from the US Senate elections research. This case study covers the findings from our research conducted in order to evaluate which candidate has the best chance of voter support based on the way they communicate.

The Presidential Candidates

When we started this study there were only 9 people who announced their participation in the US presidential elections in 2016. At the time of our last update, the number of candidates grew to 22.


We first analyzed, in November 2014, the elections for the US Senate and we collected from different social networks the posts/tweets of the participants in these elections. Once the results were known, we calculated comparative profiles of the winners and losers based on IntenCheck’s 26 psycholinguistic categories. The winners profile reflects what kind of politicians American voters prefer. Estimates were statistically significant.

In April, when 9 politicians formally announced their candidacy for US president in 2016, we repeated the procedure and collected from social networks the posts and tweets of the candidates for the period   July 9, 2013 to April 25, 2015. Then we created psycholinguistic profiles for each of the candidates and calculated the correlation between their communication evaluation and the profile of the winners of the US Senate elections. These estimates were used to build the ranking of candidates.

For each new candidate that joined the race for US presidency the same process was followed.

Ratings of US presidential candidates (based on IntenCheck profiles), as of April 24, 2015:

Ted Cruz(R) + 0.58

Marco Rubio (R) + 0.24

Ben Carson (R) – 0.37

Hillary Clintos (R) – 0.5

The undisputed leader at this point was Sen. Ted Cruz. What and how he expresses himself is the most relevant to American voters out of this pool of candidates, though there is still plenty of room for improvement. The winners profile from the Senate elections contains many clues regarding what can still be improved.

Please note that the upper half of the ranking is occupied by Republicans. Even if Ted Cruz would not make it to the end of the race, there is high probability that the candidate to become the next US president would be a Republican.

The big surprise was the ranking of Hillary Clinton. What and how she addresses the voters doesn’t seem to make a successful communication recipe, as there is a big discrepancy between what she communicates and what the public finds relevant. On the other hand, she has the most room to grow in front of the voters, as long as she makes some changes. What she could easily improve can be found in the winners profile that we have compiled.

In the period between April 25 and May 15, 6 other candidates have formally announced their candidacy for US president in 2016 and were included in our study. The new candidates at this point were: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Bernie Sanders, Carly Fiorina and Martin O’Malley.

Over the past 20 days, there were changes not only in the composition of the participants in the race, but also in the rankings:


  Candidate 04/24/2015 05/15/2015 Changes
1 Ted Cruz (r) 0,55 0,59 +0,04
2 Marco Rubio (r) 0,27 0,49 +0,22
3 Mike Huckabee (r) 0,22 0,24 +0,02
4 Rand Paul (r) 0,11 0,23 +0,13
5 Jim Webb (d) 0,03 0,21 +0,18
6 Bernie Sanders (d) 0,17
7 Lincoln Chafee (d) 0,03 0,05 +0,02
8 Jeb Bush (r) 0,02
9 Martin O’Malley (d) -0,06
10 Donald Trump (r) -0,23
11 Mark Everson (r) -0,24 -0,25 -0,01
12 Ben Carson (r) -0,35 -0,31 +0,04
13 Rick Perry (r) -0,40
14 Carly Fiorina (r) -0,44
15 Hillary Clinton (d) -0,50 -0,65 -0,15

If on April 24 the undisputed leader in our rankings was Ted Cruz, now his rating has even increased slightly (by 0.04). However, Marco Rubio has improved the most out of all candidates (+0.22) and, although he is still second in the rankings, is very close behind Ted Cruz. We have also seen a strong improvement in the ratings of Rand Paul (+0.13) and Jim Webb (+0.18).

Hilary Clinton remains in the last place and her rating has even decreased in this period (-0.15.). Meanwhile, Jeb Bush who just joined the race finds himself comfortably at the middle of the table.