The “most emoji-ed” stories of the 2016 election

Readers of national politics and culture news site have voted with emojis for the most compelling stories of the 2016 primary season, using Facebook Reactions, including the Love, HaHa, Wow, Sad and Angry buttons that joined traditional Likes in February.

According to an analysis of Facebook Reactions used to respond to politics stories published by Rare in the first 120 days of the capability, the site reveals six stories that engendered the most passion from its more than 6.3 million Facebook fans.

 Most Likes: Readers Applaud Puppet That Outperforms Candidates

Consistent with the anti-establishment zeitgeist, the article with the most likes suggests a puppet might be a better president than the current slate of GOP candidates. The post about ventriloquist and stand-up comedian Jeff Dunham, and Bubba, a beer-loving puppet who pokes fun at political correctness and stereotypes, engendered a strong, positive response from readers on the Rare Facebook page.

Most HaHas: 2016 Insurgent RNC Frontrunner Disses 2012 Establishment Nominee 

Whether on the left with the Bernie Sanders movement or on the right with the Donald Trump campaign, online laughs quickly followed when Mitt Romney said in this post that he wouldn’t sit idly by and watch Trump get elected. Readers signaled they were laughing traditional politicians off the stage; record use of the HaHa goes to Romney’s empty threat.

Most Wows: In the Category of Least Surprising, Trump Gets the Shock Jock Award

Rare readers hit the most Wows when Trump added insult to injury and said he could have had Romney “on his knees” begging for an endorsement in this provocative campaign moment. Trump appeared to have the last laugh against the party establishment: Weeks after Rare’s record Reactions for funny and provocative content, the insurgent candidate was declared the presumptive Republican Party nominee.

Most Sorry: The Day Senator Cruz Needed a Handkerchief

The parade of Republican candidates felled by Trump were plagued by bad optics, and one wins by a nose. Readers felt sorry for Ted Cruz in this post, when something dripped down the Texas senator’s face, eclipsing the content of his speech.

Most Loves: Parody of Trump Supporters Gets Love from Readers

Rare readers reserved the most uses of the Love emoji for a post featuring a Saturday Night Live parody of Trump supporters. The dark humor of everyday supporters tinged with a punchline of some of their dark secrets, including white supremacy, received visceral reactions on Facebook.

Most Angry: Trump Rallies Run Amok Get Fans Hot Under Collar

One of the trending stories of the primary season surrounded the vitriol at campaign events, and it was a supporter of Trump and a swipe at a protester at a rally in this post that prompted use of the Angry button.

“During the primary season, readers used emojis to express the broad range of emotions they feel toward politics, from love to anger and laughs,” said Jack Hunter, politics editor, “Now that the primaries are behind us, we can look back and see that the sensational watercooler-style content that sparked the most visceral reactions have defined this presidential race so far. Some day we may look at these emojis as hieroglyphics of a very engaged electorate!”

Rare’s politics team is at the Republican National Convention July 18-21, and the Democratic National Convention July 25-28. Catch Rare’s politics editor Jack Hunter’s real-time experiences and commentary on Twitter and Facebook.

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