San Antonio, TX based database marketing company Stirista has released a report showing that Twitter followers of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton share very similar demographics.
The company collected the follower Twitter handles in late April 2016. It matched the handles to its national database of over 154 million names, looking for email addresses, and then matched those emails to the political database of information about US voters.
Of Trump's 8.1 million Twitter followers, the company identified 660,000 email addresses which it matched 97,000 names on the voter database.
In Clinton's case, 6.2 million Twitter followers generated 600,000 email addresses which matched to 100,000 voter names.
In both cases, the large volumes ensure a high level of confidence that the samples are statistically significant.
Stirista then sent an email survey to a sampling of Trump and Clinton followers during the week of May 16, 2016.
Amongst the Trump followers who responded, 71 percent said they supported Trump.
Amongst the Clinton responders, 67 percent said they supported Clinton.
Both sets of followers have a similar age spread with about 60 percent of followers of both candidates aged over 45.
They represent similar ranges across income levels but differ in gender and race.
Trump has 56 percent male and 44 percent female followers. Hillary Clinton has 43 percent male and 57 percent female. Clinton followers are more racially diverse than Trump's.
Trump followers are 76 percent White, 13 percent African American, and 10 percent Hispanic. Clinton's followers are 67 percent White, 19 percent African-American and 13 percent Hispanic.
Donald Trump's followers showed revealed a wider political base than might be expected.
43.5 percent being registered Republicans. In fact, almost a third ( 31.1 percent) of Trump's followers are registered Democrats. 23 percent were unaffiliated
Hillary Clinton's followers show a more predictable mix. 61 percent being registered Democrats, and 20 percent Republican. 19 percent were unaffiliated.
"Our research challenges some of what we thought we understood about supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton."— Ajay Gupta, CEO, Stirista
Trump followers are less extreme than commonly perceived on social issues such as gay marriage, and gun control.
Findings show that 61 percent of Clinton's followers support gun control, whereas 21 percent of Trump's followers do.
62 percent of Clinton's followers support gay marriage; 26 percent of Trump's followers do.
Overwhelmingly, 90 percent of Trump's followers are against easing immigration restrictions, but only 28 percent of Clinton's followers feel the same way.
Ajay Gupta, CEO, Stirista said: "Our research challenges some of what we thought we understood about supporters of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, showing greater similarities and voting habits among followers of the two candidates and a new understanding of their followers' views on social issues."
"Our new political database offers vast opportunities to understand candidates' followers through matching algorithms, which will help candidates, political analysts and marketers further explore what makes the electorate tick."