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Who Are Donald Trump’s Supporters? Everyone.

To better understand Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to the top of the GOP polls, SocialCode used its audience profiling technology to take a look at the Facebook users who support each of the 2016 presidential candidates, comparing their demographics, interests and behaviors. The most notable finding in the data? Donald Trump’s universal appeal.

Liberals, Moderates and Conservatives Support Trump
Donald Trump is the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, who over-indexes with people who have ‘very liberal’, ‘liberal’, ‘moderate’ and ‘conservative’ political affiliations; however, his supporters are less likely to be ‘very conservative’ than those of any other Republican candidate. Compared to people who like the top candidates, Trump’s supporters are:

Democrat Bernie Sanders is the only candidate whose supporters are less likely to be ‘very conservative’ than Trump’. Jeb Bush over-indexes the most with “very conservative” supporters (3.8X), followed by Ben Carson (3.68X). Perhaps owing to his celebrity, Trump supporters are 61% less likely to be politically active than supporters of other candidates. Interestingly, Chris Christie supporters are even less likely (-79%) to be politically active.

Trump backed by Hispanics and African Americans
People who like Donald Trump are 3.06X more likely to be Hispanic and 1.93X more likely to be African American than supporters of other candidates. He’s also the only Republican who over-indexes with African Americans. Carly Fiorina has the second highest concentration of Hispanic supporters after Trump.

Trump and Fiorina Capture Millennial Support
Carly Fiorina has the highest concentration of Millennial supporters among all candidates (5.1X more than supporters of other candidates), followed by Donald Trump (3.86X more). Three Republicans (Carson, Bush and Cruz) haven’t attracted enough likes from Millennials so far to be indexed on that segment. Trump is the only Republican candidate who over-indexes with Generation X users, but he’s behind the rest of the field when it comes to Baby Boomers – they are 1.2X more likely to support a candidate other than Trump, the lowest level of support of any candidate in our analysis.

Corporate Executives and Small Business Owners Support Trump, Fiorina and Sanders
Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, both of whom are seasoned business executives, are the Republicans who the most support with corporate and C-suite executives, as well as small business owners. Trump over-indexes the most with Corporate and C-suite execs (followed by Fiorina and Democrat Bernie Sanders), while Fiorina over-indexes the most with small business owners (followed by Sanders and Trump).

Other Notable Findings
Compared to the supporters of other candidates:

Methodology
SocialCode calculated unbiased indexes to determine the similarity of Facebook users who liked a 2016 presidential candidate as of September 11, 2015. Index values can be interpreted as X times more likely or less likely than the median for a particular variable (demographics, interests and behaviors). A positive value indicates more, a negative value indicates less. Our analysis focuses on the top five candidates for the Republican nomination (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio) and the top three candidates for the Democratic nomination (Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden) based on the latest polling data as of September 18, 2015. Also included are Republican candidates Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina. Facebook users who like the following candidates were also factored into our indexes: Scott Walker, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee.

Chris Christie Marco Rubio Ben Carson Donald Trump Jeb Bush Ted Cruz Carly Fiorina Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Bernie Sanders
Liberal  -0.94 -4.35 n/a  2.71  n/a  -5.34  0.00  0.58  1.11  1.79
Very Liberal  0.16 -0.86 n/a  1.60  -1.68  -0.79  -0.68  1.90  2.67  2.68
Moderate  0.79  -1.37 n/a  1.63  n/a  -2.30  0.10  -0.13  -0.85  0.34
Conservative  -0.03  0.44  -0.66  1.28  -1.82  0.65  0.88  0.00  -0.93  -0.53
Very Conservative  -2.17  0.41  3.68  -3.57  3.80  1.08  0.09  -2.74  -3.13  -4.07
Politically Active  -0.79  -0.01  0.93  -0.61  1.06  0.26  0.01  -0.15  0.18  -0.30
Executive/C-suite  -0.06  0.03  -0.04  0.42  0.03  -0.03  0.38  -0.03  -0.12  0.06
Small Business Owners  -0.58  -0.14  -0.15 0.60  -0.31  -0.43  0.74  0.02  0.26  0.70
Hispanic  0.20  0.01  -0.41  3.06  -0.33  -0.11  1.36  0.67  1.12  0.63
African American  -0.90  n/a  n/a  1.93  n/a  n/a  -0.79  0.48  1.71  0.03
Millenials  0.00  -5.49  n/a  3.86  n/a  n/a  5.10  -8.10  -6.87  -2.67
Generation X  -0.24  0.05  -0.26  1.89  -1.58  -0.01  0.24  0.02  -0.18  -0.02
Baby Boomers  -0.80  -0.12  0.23  -1.20  0.35  0.57  -1.01  0.41  0.42  0.48

*N/A: candidate did not have enough likes among Facebook users in this category to calculate a statistically significant index value.

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AUTHORS

  • Mike Werch, Marketing
  • Tara Van Velzen, Data Scientist
  • Chris Poirier, Data Scientist

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