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Trump & Clinton Followers Might Not Like What They See in The Mirror

Connelly Partners & Motive Metrics Study Reveals 14MM Twitter Followers of Democrat & Republican Presidential Frontrunners Share Personality Traits

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Supporters May Be Surprised at Perception vs. Data when it comes to Environmental and Fiscal Issues

BOSTON (May 2, 2016)— Donald Trump’s 7.8 million Twitter followers and Hillary Clinton’s 6 million Twitter followers are relative mirror images of each other in terms of traits and motivations according to a study by advertising agency Connelly Partners and Motive Metrics.  The study, which analyzed personality traits of the candidates’ Twitter followers found that both Trump and Clinton attract the same type of people.  It also revealed a few surprises, especially when it comes to stereotypes of both candidates.

thumbnail-4Of the 36 traits measured in the study, Trump and Clinton followers were on the same side of the mean for every trait but one (Clinton followers are 10% more introverted than the average consumer, while Trump followers are 2% more extraverted than the average consumer).  Traits shared by both Clinton and Trump followers include: egocentric, indecisive, hedonistic and careless, they don’t care about fitness or diet and are not financially-savvy. The followers of both candidates also have positive qualities as well, including being more trusting, loyal and open minded than the average consumer.

Clinton and Trump followers are both moderately environmentally friendly.  Clinton followers are 24% more environmentally friendly than the average customer, which voters might expect.  However, Trump supporters were slightly more (26%) environmentally friendly than the average consumer, which might come as a surprise.

Some might expect the Trump audience to be more “lavish” than average consumers, and they are at 74% more than the mean, but most wouldn’t instinctively place the Clinton audience in the same territory. Yet Clinton followers are more lavish as well: 42% more so than average consumers.

“While the supporters of each candidate have been doing all they can to create distance between their group and the devil on the other side of the ballot, the reality is that in many ways they are mirror images of each other,” said Steve Connelly, President of Connelly Partners. “Also surprising was that some personality traits stereotypically assigned to Trump or Clinton were not the reality.”

The traits/personality profiles in this study were discovered using a complex algorithm that aggregates digital posts by people and builds trait profiles based on the word patterns each person used, a practice long validated by years of psychological research.  Since the beginning of 2016, Connelly Partners and Motive Metrics have been following the Twitter followers of each candidate, and evolving trait/motivation profiles for each group.  A previously issued report on personality traits of followers of presidential candidates can be found here.

Additional findings (based on the average consumer) include:

  • Trump followers are 56% more egocentric, while Clinton followers are 8% more egocentric than average consumers.
  • Clinton followers are 58% more price inattentive, versus Trump followers are 20% more price inattentive than average consumers.
  • Popular opinion might expect Trump followers to be “unsympathetic” and unaware of the needs of others (Trump followers are 66% more so that the average consumer). However, Clinton supporters are also more unsympathetic, 32% more so than the average consumer.
  • On the rebellious traits, Trump followers (48%) and Clinton followers (46%) are both moderately rebellious compared to the general population

Connelly Partners and Motive Metrics have found that the only candidate whose followers didn’t cluster similarly were followers of Bernie Sanders.

“Sanders followers certainly have dramatically different motivational triggers than the rest of the candidates of both parties, and that was expected,” added Connelly. “The Trump-Clinton audiences being virtually the same motivationally was not expected.”

Connelly Partners will continue to monitor and measure the traits and motivations of the followers of each candidate through to the general election.

Infographics are available for download.

Connelly Partners creates marketing communications rooted in Affective Empathy, the practice of identifying and aligning the values of two audiences wishing to connect empathetically.

About Connelly Partners

Founded in 1999, Connelly Partners is a full-service advertising agency that uses empathy to develop relationships and unique connections with consumers. Clients include American Express Travel, A&E Networks, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Babson College, Best Western, British Virgin Islands Tourism Board, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Massachusetts State Lottery, Samsonite and SATA Airlines, among others. The agency’s loft space in the South End of Boston is filled with 125 employees accomplished in strategic planning, creative and content generation, media planning and buying, digital strategy/execution, public relations, social media, search, branded entertainment, integrated production and analytics. Visit for more information.


Contact: Rebecca Sullivan, Public Relations, 617-501-4010/781-326-1996,

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