In 1980, people chatted about the imminent election of Ronald Reagan around the water cooler. In 1992, perhaps a few faxes about Bill Clinton were exchanged. In 2008, we G-chatted about Obama. In 2016, we’re iMessaging and Facebook messaging, with a healthy dose of emoji included.
Blend, a group-chat app for millennials, analyzed how 250,000 of its users (average age 18 to 24) have been talking about various 2016 personalities over the last six months. Analysts extracted emoji most often associated with a particular candidate, and the results ranged from hilariously predictable to downright pathetic.
🇺🇸 💰 🚀 🙅 💩
For the headline-dominating Republican frontrunner, the selection is somewhat predictable: the US flag, a bag of money, an ascending rocket ship (no doubt a winner’s metaphor), a woman refusing something or someone, and a pile of crap.
💰 👸 👠 🙅 💩
The Democratic frontrunner shares the moneybag and poop monikers with Trump, as well as the abnegating lady, but also a high-heeled shoe (admittedly, a bit gendered), and a blonde woman wearing a crown—a clear homage to the #YasQueen2016 meme.
🔥 😇 😡 👎 👴
The Democratic dark horse has supporters feeling “the Bern,” discerning some angelic qualities, but of a bit of a temper as well. He gets the thumbs down from some, and, of course, a rather obvious reference to his age and hairdo.
The Florida senator and Republican establishment favorite gets the stars and stripes, like most in the Republican field. But the candidate, who Saturday Night Live writers once referred to as the only choice “you’d swipe right on,” also gets a sparkly engagement ring.
Texas senator and conservative firebrand Ted Cruz gets dinged with a clear jab at his Canadian birthplace.
Perhaps the cruelest of all.