Quantitative Analysis of Neo-Nazis Supporting Trump and Clinton
In May, the conservative National Review published Trump’s Anti-Semitic Supporters. In June, House Speaker Paul Ryan accused Donald Trump of "textbook racism" over Trump's attacks on a federal judge with Mexican roots. These are just a few of the myriad of media stories about Trump's racism, xenophobia, and consistently strong support from anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis. Just yesterday, Trump's Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner wrote a long letter attempting to defend Trump in light of the most recent anti-Semitic tweeting from the weekend. Kushner starts his letter with a simple, "My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite." He then provides arguments such as:
It’s that simple, really. Donald Trump is not anti-Semitic and he’s not a racist. Despite the best efforts of his political opponents and a large swath of the media to hold Donald Trump accountable for the utterances of even the most fringe of his supporters—a standard to which no other candidate is ever held—the worst that his detractors can fairly say about him is that he has been careless in retweeting imagery that can be interpreted as offensive.
This notion that has emerged that holds my father in law responsible for the views of everyone who supports him is frankly absurd. Not only is this expectation completely unique to Donald Trump, but it’s clear how easily it could be used to manipulate the public.
The above is a typical defense of Donald Trump - blame the media for making a story where none exists, blame political correctness, blame political bias of liberals in creating a fake image of a race-baiting and Neo-Nazi welcoming Trump. The argument is that some extremists support Trump, some support Clinton, and furor over Führer-lovers also loving Trump is just guilt by association.
To determine whether Trump is being treated unfairly by the media and is getting undue attention over the same handful of extremists supporting him as Clinton, I performed an analysis of Neo-Nazis on Twitter, comparing how many support Donald Trump and how many support Hilary Clinton.
I analyzed 32,069 followers of Neo-Nazi twitter accounts AryanSuperior (1852 followers), David Duke (11,037 followers), WhiteGenocideTM (6,138 followers), and TruthWillOut (13,042 followers). For each account, I made a list of the total followers that mention Trump or Clinton (Figure1).
Figure1. Total count of followers for each Twitter account with account name or description mentioning Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton.
The counts for each of the above accounts are as follows:
AryanSuperior: 39 for Trump, 0 for Clinton
David Duke: 640 for Trump, 13 for Clinton
TruthWillOut: 347 for Trump, 13 for Clinton
WhiteGenocide: 1080 for Trump, 21 for Clinton.
Of course, not all followers of the above accounts are Neo-Nazis. However, manual review of the tweets of the followers of the above suggests that 98%-99% of them are white supremacists. Moreover, checking the tweets of a random subset of the followers suggests that virtually all of them support Trump over Clinton, even if they do not formally mention "Trump" in their account handle or description. Manual review of the individual followers who matched "Clinton" suggests that none of them actually support Hilary Clinton.
Analysis of thousands of followers of Neo-Nazi twitter accounts shows that 2%-18% explicitly highlight their support of Donald Trump in their Twitter profiles and handles. In contrast, 0% of these followers support Hilary Clinton.
Jared Kushner and other Trump supporters may think that Trump is not a racist or an anti-Semite, and it may be that Trump is not. However, that does not explain the overwhelming support Donald Trump enjoys from the Neo-Nazi community and the total absence of such extremists for Hilary Clinton. It is reasonable to assume that whether Donald Trump is racist or not, the consistently anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Hispanic rhetoric from him are directly contributing to the enthusiastic embrace of his candidacy by racists and Neo-Nazis.
The processed lists of Trump-mentioning and Clinton-mentioning followers of the above Twitter accounts are available here. For each of the four Neo-Nazi Twitter accounts (AryanSuperior, DrDavidDuke, TruthWillOut, WhiteGenocideTM), the following steps were performed (DavidDuke example):
1. Open the DrDavidDuke Twitter account in Firefox.
2. Place a weight on the "down" arrow key to scroll down and load all of the followers of the given account.
3. Save the page of followers as a "duke.txt" file.
4. Use "parse_neonazis.pl" to parse the list of followers and extract the account name, URL/handle, and description into a tab-delimited text file.
cat duke.txt | perl parse_neonazis.pl > duke_parsed.txt
5. egrep -i "trump | donald" parsed_duke.txt > fortrump_parsed_duke.txt
6. egrep -i "hilary | clinton" parsed_duke.txt > forclinton_parsed_duke.txt
7. wc fortrump*