Due to the the 1% traffic limit of the Public Twitter API, we had to make sure retrieve as many relevant tweets for the candidates, without exceeding the limit. Hence, a query term like Ben for the candidate Ben Carson is not appropriate, because it yields to many false positive tweets. To maintain the rate limits, we manually selected a set of 241 queries. Based on these queries, we collected a set of over 975M tweets by over 31M users mentioning candidates and other persons relevant for the U.S. presidential election during the 15-month period starting on November 2015 ending in February 2017 after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
An overview of the number of daily extracted tweets can is depicted on the right side. The number of collected tweets continuously grows with peaks around Super Tuesday 2016 , the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the presidential debates, until the election day, followed by a decline that leads to another local maximum around the inauguration day of Donald J. Trump.