In Defying the Odds, we discuss social media in the 2016 campaign. The update -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.
A new Pew Research Center analysis estimates that around one-in-five adult Twitter users in the U.S. (19%) follow Trump’s personal account on the platform, @realDonaldTrump. Trump’s immediate predecessor, Barack Obama (@BarackObama), is followed by 26% of U.S. adult Twitter users. Bill Clinton is the only other former president with a public Twitter account, followed by 6% of adult users. (George W. Bush has a private account and former president Jimmy Carter does not have a personal Twitter account.)
The analysis goes beyond simply counting each president’s number of followers, which can include institutional or automated accounts, people in other countries and people younger than 18. Instead, it is based on a nationally representative sample of 2,388 U.S. adults who use Twitter and gave the Center permission to review their personal accounts, including who they follow. Researchers identified any accounts each respondent followed between December 2018 and July 2019.