US POLITICS

Loser-In-Chief: Trump Buried In Iowa Insults

"Loser" was the principle gibe used to attack presidential candidates during the Iowa caucuses

US POLITICS
(Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso/Vocativ)
Feb 02, 2016 at 8:06 AM ET

Presidential candidates’ fans didn’t play nice during Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, which turned out to be a historically close race for Democrats and an upset for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

Of all the insults being thrown around, “loser” was the buzzword of the night as candidates’ supporters used it to bash their political rivals. The word was used the most in tweets that also included Trump’s Twitter handle.

More Tweet Comes Back To Mock “Second Place” Trump In Iowa

Vocativ analyzed all tweets—more than a million—that were posted from noon on Monday to 4 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday and included candidates’ Twitter handles. Results showed that “loser”—or “losers”—was the principle insult being used by candidates’ fans, and that it appeared more than 10,000 times in tweets with @realDonaldTrump—thousands of times more than in tweets with handles of any other candidate. (The analysis didn’t include retweets of Trump’s September 2014 tweet in which he used the word “losers.”)

The word was posted mostly to bash Trump, who not only lost the Republican Iowa caucuses to Ted Cruz but came close to placing third among Republicans.

“Loser” was also buzzing on other platforms to attack him. Typing “loser.com” into your browser early on Tuesday would take you straight to Trump’s Wikipedia page.

Some of the candidates who fared the worse in the Iowa caucuses, such as Martin O’Malley, Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush, had a small number of mentions overall, and therefore fewer associations with the word “loser.”

In some tweets that included the insult alongside a candidate’s name, the term was used to express support for that candidate by instead bashing another one.

“Loser” was also being used comically, in some cases to insult people who aren’t even running for the White House.