Echelon Insights Data Shows What News Liberals, Conservatives Paid Attention to in 2017

Donald Trump Polarizing
AP/Mark J. Terrill

Echelon Insights, a beltway research firm run by two former Republican election consultants, published an in-depth data analysis of the news stories different groups of Americans focused their attentions on in 2017.

Week-by-week, the study reveals which stories were the most talked-about on social media; then according to Echelon’s criteria, they break out the results among three groups: “conservative activists,” “liberal activists,” and “Beltway elites.”

As the data shows, liberal activists, like Americans as a whole, spent the majority of weeks with the “Russia investigation” at the forefront of their minds:

Conservatives also made “Russia” their most talked-about news topic of the year – although less so – and included discussion of “immigration” and “abortion” in their top ten, in place of “hurricanes” and “tax reform” among their liberal counterparts.

Only beltway elites did not discuss the Russia investigation, which spanned all of 2017, the most. “Healthcare” took that group’s top spot.

Data that might worry some on the right indicate that Trump’s election has, regardless of topic, energized the news discussion of the left. After Trump’s victory, liberals began to far-outstrip their conservative countrymen in total tweets, presented by Echelon as an enthusiasm gap:

However, if, as Oscar Wilde once purportedly put it, “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about,” the data show some hope for supporters of the president. If Donald Trump himself were considered a news story, he was far and away the most talked-about this year. Conversation mentions of Trump outstripped the Russia investigation by about eight-to-one. On all but 17 days of 2017, the polarizing president was the most talked about item.

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