Cable Networks' Election Night Coverage Generates Complex Emotions on Twitter

The results of the 2016 Presidential Election had the American public feeling a whirlwind of different emotions with countless Americans glued into the election night coverage, Reacting as the results were tallied. We dove deep into three cable networks — MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News — to try to make sense of the complex emotions all Americans were feeling.

Although love was the top emotion for all 3 cable networks, they were each driven by different people. Donald Trump drove the most love Reactions for MSNBC, anchor John King for CNN, and anchor Megyn Kelly for FOX News. The second most prominent emotion, however, was different for each network.



10.6% (14,821 Reactions)



12.8% (7,062 Reactions)

Fox News


9.7% (2,786 Reactions)

Out of all crazy Reactions people expressed while Tweeting about the MSNBC, 30.7% were driven by the anchor Chris Matthews’s reaction to the outcome of the election. People Reacting to MSNBC on Twitter were either equally stunned as Chris Matthews or thought he was being too dramatic over Donald Trump’s victory.

One moment definitely got people Reacting to CNN’s coverage. Viewers Reacting to CNN’s election coverage enjoyed CNN contributor Van Jones’ comments regarding the outcome of the election using the term, ‘whitelash’. ‘Whitelash’ is a phrase describing a ‘counterattack against the loss of empowerment that middle and lower class whites feel in the wake of globalization and its effects at home and abroad.’


39.1% out of all enjoyment Reactions mentioned Van Jones with 37.4% out of all enjoyment Reactions mentioning the topic ‘whitelash’.

Most of the hate Reactions from Fox News were driven by its anchor Megyn Kelly as opposed to the network’s coverage. Fox News viewers on Twitter were not impressed with Megyn Kelly’s performance during this election coverage. 38.6% out of all hate Reactions mentioned Megyn Kelly, specifically her stance against  Trump. What’s more noteworthy is that Megyn Kelly was also the top driver for love Reactions on Fox News during the election coverage. Out of all love Reactions, 25.1% mentioned Megyn Kelly for her performance during the coverage.


After such a whirlwind of a night, it’s obvious that people all across America have strong responses to the commentary they watched. Between people feeling things got crazy or that they enjoyed the coverage — no one sat by and felt nothing. In fact, 223,699 out of 1,081,729 tweets across all three of these networks expressed some sort of emotion. How do you feel about the results of the 2016 presidential election? Let us know in the comments.