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Eric Swalwell tweets about Trump more than any other 2020 candidate, but it may not be an effective strategy

Business Insider | Jun 14, 2019, 03.28AM IST

Eric Swalwell

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Eric Swalwell

  • Presidential candidate and California Rep. Eric Swalwell attacks President Donald Trump on Twitter far more than any other 2020 candidate, according to a new analysis from the Mercury News.
  • The Mercury News found that nearly one in four of Swalwell's tweets - 23% - mentioned Trump by name or by title, a far higher percentage than his fellow Democratic contenders. 

  • But on several occasions, Swalwell's shots at Trump have fallen flat, resulting in him being mocked or "ratioed," earning more disapproving replies than likes or retweets. 
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, however, have both deftly commanded social media as tools to fuel their rises as breakout stars in the 2020 field while mentioning Trump in fewer than 1% of their tweets.
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Presidential candidate and California Rep. Eric Swalwell attacks President Donald Trump far more than any other 2020 candidate, according to a new analysis from The Mercury News' Casey Tolan. 

The Mercury News found that nearly one in four of Swalwell's tweets - 23% - mentioned Trump by name or by title, a far higher percentage than his fellow Democratic contenders. 

In their analysis, the outlet counted tweets from January to June that either tagged Trump's Twitter handle at @realdonaldtrump, mentioned him by name, or mentioned "the president."

In an interview with The Mercury News, Swalwell joked that it was the former prosecutor in him that drives him to directly call out Trump, with his staff confirming he writes most of his own tweets. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders came in second place and Rep. Seth Moulton in third, with 16% and 13% of their tweets mentioning Trump, respectively. 

Read more: The 9 most cringeworthy social-media fails of the 2020 presidential campaign

Mayor Pete Buttigieg and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, however, have both deftly commanded social media as tools to fuel their rises as breakout stars in the 2020 field while mentioning Trump in fewer than 1% of their tweets.

"When [Buttigieg] says he won't play Trump's game and make it all about him and his show, he's not kidding," Buttigieg's senior communications advisor Lis Smith tweeted in response to the Mercury News story, referencing Trump's penchant for attacking his opponents on Twitter.

Swalwell, a 38-year-old congressman who holds prestigious assignments on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, helped make a name for himself before running for president with near-constant cable news appearances to discuss the latest twists and turns in those committees' investigations of the Trump administration. 

But on several occasions, Swalwell's shots at Trump have fallen flat, resulting in him being mocked or "ratioed," meaning he earns more disapproving replies than likes or retweets. 

In February, for example, Swalwell was ridiculed for posting a weary-looking selfie of himself in the snow in New York City proudly announcing his choice to walk in the snow instead of getting coffee at Trump Tower.

 

As many New Yorkers noted, however, Midtown Manhattan where the tower is located, has multiple coffee shops on every block. But Swalwell was able to let the incident roll off his back, joking to Fox News that he was "rightfully schooled."

Swalwell, who entered the 2020 field in April, is currently polling at 0% in Morning Consult's national survey but has qualified for the first Democratic primary debates in Miami, Florida on June 26-27. More recently, he's been attempting to raise money by attacking Trump on Twitter.

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