The Signal

Convention one-liners driving most discussion of issues on Twitter

The Signal

The tremendous volume of tweets around the Republican convention do not generally dwell on questions of policy. As countless commentators have pointed out, the conventions are more about personalities and imagery than they are about platform and ideas.

The one major exception we see on Twitter is when a particular line from a speech stands out. The following graph shows mentions of three of the most-discussed political issues: abortion, unions and education.

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Tops Issues

The explanation is simple. Most abortion comments referred to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in connection to Virginia's controversial bill requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound.

The spike in union references comes directly from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's zinger: "They believe in teacher's unions, we believe in teachers." And the education spike is thanks to Condoleezza Rice's line that education is "the civil rights struggle of our day."

UPDATE, 9:56 p.m.: Jeb Bush's education-heavy address drove similar volumes of discussion about education, though there's no one line responsible:

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We're working on an official corollary to the Signal's theory of one-liners.

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