To compute the Twitter Political Index (Twindex), Topsy analyzes about 200 million English-language tweets every single day. We calculate minute-by-minute sentiment for every term in every tweet and then create a scaled score for Obama and Romney. This final score compares sentiment for each candidate against sentiment for everything else mentioned on Twitter.
Here, Twindex values were computed by state to reveal important trends in the short time before Election Day. Our predictions of “pro-Obama” vs. “pro-Romney” for each state (based on Tweets) very closely match the probabilities calculated by Nate Silver on his Political Calculus blog for the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight. A total of 44 out of 50 states on Oct. 31 correspond with Nate’s statistics. (Click the map below to view the daily Twindex Animation.)
We’ll also be updating Twindex scores by hour from Nov 1st through Election Day. That animation can be found here.
The fact that our maps of Twitter sentiment closely match the predictions of world-renowned analysts points to Twitter as a valid gauge of public opinion. Stay tuned for updates to these state-level maps as Election Day approaches.