Back to my page


Locker room talk and other election issues: Analysis of the Second Presidential Debate

Sunday night, October 9, U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in a Town Hall, the second televised debate of this election cycle. How has the debate shaped the race? We analyzed the data in Netvibes’ 2016 Election Dashboard to find out.

Second debate dashboard

Top topics before the second debate

The big news story came out on Friday, October 7, when a tape recording surfaced of Trump making offensive comments about women. Trump’s so-called “Locker Room Talk” dominated the news cycle leading up to the Town Hall debate. As we can see in the chart below, the top 2 topics going into the debate were:

  1. Locker room talk
  2. Bill Clinton assaults

Top issues before 2nd debate

Top topics after debate

After the second debate aired on Sunday night, we see the conversation shift a bit. Locker Room Talk is still #1, but Trump’s comments during the debate that Clinton “should be in jail” became the second-most popular topic discussed.

Following the debate, the top 3 topics were:

  1. Locker room talk
  2. Hillary imprisonment / Special prosecutor
  3. Trump breaks with Pence

Top topics after second debate

Sentiment: Emotions are running high

Overall, the conversation around the Town Hall Debate is highly emotionally charged. With most subjects in general, the dashboard charts will typically show a large majority of neutral opinions, with some positive and negative mixed in. However, in this year’s hotly contested election, emotions are running high. All of the top topics from the second debate show an exceptionally high percentage of both negative and positive remarks. Discussions around Trump’s “locker room talk,” for example, trended 38.81% negative, 28.5% positive, and only 32.69% neutral.

Locker room talk sentiment

Sentiment: Conservative vs. Liberal media

Throughout the election, when we compare articles in Conservative vs. Liberal media, we have found that Conservative articles tend to be more negative. HOWEVER, this trend was flipped after last night’s debate. Following the second debate, it is now the Liberal media that is more negative and less neutral.

Sentiment: Conservative vs Liberal media

Could this be a sign that Clinton lost the second debate? We will have to wait and see how polling numbers look when they emerge. For now, Clinton’s lead is strengthening in the polls. As of October 8, Clinton’s polling average was 46.66% versus Trump’s 39.77% (source: Huffington Post).

Clinton vs Trump polls

You can see the charts and explore the data for yourself on our live Election Dashboard here:  We’ll keep updating the blog with weekly insights leading up to the November election.

Is there an election issue you’d like us to explore? Leave a comment below.



Written by Kim Terca of Netvibes. Any opinions expressed are my own, not my employer’s.

Analytics are based on a wide variety of online sources collected by the Netvibes dashboard, including news publications, blogs, videos and social media. To see all sources, please visit the Dashboard Tab titled “Sources.” Candidate polling data is sourced from The Huffington Post.

Netvibes’ Election dashboard is meant to provide a neutral analysis of available election data. It should not be considered an official statement by Netvibes, Inc. or Dassault Systèmes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *