The Donald Trump tweets you missed while you were asleep
His tweets say a lot about his sleep patterns, and when he’s cranky
It’s no secret Donald Trump is a prolific tweeter. His aggressive use of the social media platform is one of the many things that have distinguished his unique candidacy.
That being the case, we decided to analyze the past six months of Trump’s tweets to see what they could tell us about the frequency with which he tweets, whether he writes a lot of the tweets himself and what time of day he is taking to the social media site. We also wanted to dig into the topics he tweets about and the style he uses. And, yes, we wanted to see if we could learn something about the man himself.
The best way to digest Trump’s tweeting ferocity is to compare it to someone else, so — surprise, surprise — we chose Hillary Clinton. The comparison shows that Trump actually tweets significantly less overall than Clinton, but he does it more consistently. Also, if you look closely, you’ll notice that Trump’s account tweets at times when Clinton’s never does. In the past six months, Clinton has never tweeted between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m and rarely tweeted between the hours of 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., leaving the Twitterverse wide open to Trump.
So we dug into this a bit more using the much-reported theory that two people are responsible for Trump’s tweets — Trump himself on an Android phone and somebody – maybe a campaign staffer — on an iPhone. The chart below shows the distinct patterns for when each phone was used to tweet in the past six months, adding to the evidence that they are used by two different people. We wanted to isolate the tweets from the Android phone in order to examine the @realDonaldTrump’s behavior. (Because Clinton’s tweets don’t exhibit a similar time-of-day disparity between devices, we couldn’t make a determination about who was behind a tweet – so we chose to just focus on Trump here.)
So looking at Trump’s Android activity after midnight, we found what could only be defined as binge retweeting. Trump’s early morning hours also appear to be when he mostly gripes about other candidates he is running against or any other politician. We took it a step further and analyzed the words he most frequently uses between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. “Hillary,” “Great,” and “Crooked” rank high.
Now all research is based on assumptions, and here’s one we made: Trump is awake when he’s tweeting and during the gap when he’s not tweeting in the wee-hours of the morning is presumably when he finds time to sleep. Based on that, the Android activity suggests that in the past six months, Trump could have slept an average of 5.1 hours a night.
Trump also has a routine when he wakes up. To examine that, we pulled out just the first tweet he made after 5 a.m. each day, going back six months. The real estate mogul starts his day close to where he left off, tweeting against fellow candidates and other politicos. Trump also has a love/hate relationship with the media in the morning: He’s either gleefully promoting his TV appearances that day, or else criticizing certain media outlets for shoddy coverage. Sometimes both. CNN comes under particular fire, garnering a mention in 29 percent of Trump’s anti-media tweets.
His tweets hit their stride around 7 a.m., a time when Clinton has barely become active. In comparison, the Clinton team picks up steam as the day unfolds and overtakes Trump in volume, particularly by the evening. She tweets the most around the 10 p.m. hour–a night owl compared to Trump’s early bird.
Brittany Fong contributed to this article