Trump's 20 Million Twitter Followers Get Smaller Under The Microscope

Donald J. Trump hit an awesome milestone this week, one he’s been working toward for years, and which he obviously views with great importance and utmost respect: he has passed 20 million followers on Twitter.

Not only has this massive online following been crucial in the president-elect’s rise to power, but Twitter has been his primary instrument for communicating with the world since the election. Earlier this week, Trump promised to unleash his followers on opponents, including fellow Republicans, if they don’t fall in line behind his policy agenda. The more contentious things become in Washington, the more likely we are to hear Trump’s prodigious Twitter following being used as a cudgel against his less follower-endowed opponents, and as an indicator of his broad popularity.

So who are these 20 million? Are they really an online army at his command, a monolithic block of shock troops and #deplorables ready to #MAGA? Analysis by data science platform Affinio, which uses machine learning to identify clusters of common traits and interests within a data set, reveals the picture is quite a bit more complicated.

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Chris Alexakisgovernment, media