Last week I wrote an analysis of the polling data on YouGov has compiled Donald Trump’s individual tweets. Since then, thing kept nagging at me is this: Trump’s most popular tweets (most of which were uncontroversial, ceremonial messages) don’t sound like the kind of thing we most associate with the way Trump uses his Twitter account, while his least popular tweets sound very much like the kind of stuff the president would say in real life.
So I decided to take a second dive into the data and see if this vague sense could be firmed up empirically. And I found that the theory basically holds up: that Trump-ier tweets tend to be less popular than tweets that sound like they’re staff-written.
If you want to get straight to the fun stuff, skip this section.
To understand how I did this, you need to rewind a couple of years. In 2016, savvy political observers noted that Trump’s more “Trump-ish” tweets (think of the insults he threw at his primary and general election opponents) were posted from an Android phone, while other less Trump-y tweets came from his iPhone or other sources.
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