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Activity Number: 354 - SPEED: Big Data, Small Area Estimation, and Methodological Innovations Under Development, Part 2
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 : 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM
Sponsor: Survey Research Methods Section
Abstract #307751
Title: Tracking Public Opinion with Twitter: a Critical Comparison of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyzes
Author(s): Robyn Ferg* and Johann A Gagnon-Bartsch and Fred Conrad
Companies: and University of Michigan and University of Michigan

Relationships found between data extracted from social media and public opinion polls have led to optimism about supplementing traditional surveys with new sources of data. However, not enough attention has been paid to investigating whether these relationships might be spurious. We consider the relationship between "Trump" tweets and presidential approval, developing a framework to interpret the strength of an observed relationship by performing the same analysis as we do with the "Trump" tweets, but with words unrelated to presidential approval. Finally, after failing to find an especially strong signal with tracking tweets cross-sectionally, we provide evidence that a political signal is present in Twitter data by following politically active Twitter users over time.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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