Figuring out how Americans feel about political candidates is a tricky business. But thanks to the invention of emojis, seeing how Twitter feels about everything else is easy. Mom’s cooking? The latest Star Wars movie? It could be 👍, 😱, or the ubiquitous 😂.
So we’re combining the two. Below, you’ll find a tool that grabs live tweets about candidates and extracts the emojis used to describe them, providing a rolling 24-hour view of Internet sentiment. You can click any emoji in this tool to see the latest tweet that uses it in connection with a particular candidate.
Necessary caveats: Twitter doesn’t provide a feed of every public tweet—only a random sample—so this tool won’t include every single mention of a candidate. Also, we’ve filtered out 😂, the Oxford Dictionaries 2015 Word of the Year, which is so popular it threatened to drown out the interesting differences between the candidates.
If you can’t see a certain emoji—we’re sorry! Some computers and browsers don’t display emoji normally, so we’ve used Twitter’s Twemoji tool to replace them with images. Twitter has yet to add some of the newest characters, so you could see some gaps. (Thanks to Atlantic developer Frankie Dintino for help filling those in!)