Despite assertions to the contrary from his detractors, Donald Trump's massive 9.1 million Twitter followers are largely made up of real people who actually like the GOP presumptive presidential nominee – and are likely to show up at the polls in November, Politico reports.
Citing data from the database marketing agency Stirista
, Politico points out that 70 percent of Trump's Twitter followers appear to be his supporters and about 11 percent are expected to be first-time voters.
"It's translating into votes," Stirista CEO Ajay Gupta told Politico. "Not at a one-to-one level. But at a 70 percent level, it is a pretty good margin."
Trump's ability to use social media to his advantage is "some of the best in the party," a top GOP tech strategist told Politico. "As many people as it’s pissing off, it’s turning people on."
But not everyone was convinced Trump's brash pronouncements and trolling of his enemies on Twitter can be as successful in the general election as it was in getting him the GOP nomination.
"It can work when you're talking to a more niche audience," Wesley Donehue, who worked on Sen. Marco Rubio's failed effort to defeat Trump in the GOP primaries. "But whenever you're talking to a broader audience in the general, saying those controversial things is going to piss off the people you need to talk to."
Democrat Hillary Clinton technology adviser Teddy Goff isn't convinced either, telling Politico, "He's going to find that the general election Twitter is a lot less friendly to him then Republican primary Twitter."
Stirista said it pulled the Twitter handles of Trump's followers in late April and compared them to a database of email addresses. Those addresses were then matched to voting records. A sampling of emails were sent to ask if they intended to vote for Trump, with 71 percent of those responding said they do intend to vote for Trump.
The company ran the same analysis for Clinton's followers and found 67 percent support among her 7 million followers.
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