Honors Thesis 2017 - Tarrek Shaban

Trumping the Polls: Event Analysis During the 2016 Election

Tarrek Shaban

Highest Honor in Computer Science


Since its introduction in 2006, Twitter has grown into an integral venue for political discourse. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Twitter and other social media services have played an important role in shaping the political debate during the 2016 presidential election. The dynamics of social media provide a unique opportunity to detect and interpret the pivotal events and scandals of the candidates quantitatively. This paper examines several text-based analysis to determine which topics have a lasting impact on the election for the two main candidates, Clinton and Trump. About 135.5 million tweets are collected over the six weeks prior to the election. From these tweets, topic clustering, keyword extraction, and tweeter analysis are performed to better understand the impact of the events occurred during this period. This analysis builds upon a social science foundation to provide another avenue for scholars to use in discerning how events detected from social media show the impacts of campaigns as well as campaign the election.

Department / School

Computer Science / Emory University

Degree / Year

BS / Summer 2017


Jinho D. Choi, Computer Science and QTM, Emory University (Chair)
James Lu, Computer Science, Emory University
Alan Abramowitz, Political Science, Emory University


Anthology | Paper | Presentation