“Whoever your pick for POTUS, one thing’s certain — political topics inspire passionate discussions,” the company wrote in a post on their website. “With a light heart and heavy-hitting algorithms, we visited each candidate’s official Facebook page and looked at the comments there to see how well their supporters handle themselves when they communicate their ideas in writing.”
Their study found that, on average, Democratic supporters make an average of 4.2 mistakes per 100 words, while Republican supporters make more than double that — an average of 8.7 mistakes per 100 works. Supporters of Democratic candidates also write longer comments, averaging 41.8 words per comment, to Republicans' 32.4 words per comment.
Hillary Clinton supporters came in at the bottom for Democrats, tying with those of Republican candidate Carly Fiorina, who was at the top of the list for the Republicans — supporters for each averaged 6.3 errors per 100 words.
Grammerly explained their process for finding the error averages as follows:
“We began by taking a large sample of Facebook comments containing at least fifteen words from each candidate’s official page between April, 2015 and August, 2015. Next, we created a set of guidelines to help limit (as much as possible) the subjectivity of categorizing the comments as positive or negative. Since the point of the study was to analyze the writing of each candidate’s supporters, we considered only obviously positive or neutral comments. Obviously negative or critical comments, as well as ambiguous or borderline negative comments, were disqualified.
We then randomly selected at least 180 of these positive and neutral comments (~6,000 words) to analyze for each candidate. Using Grammarly, we identified the errors in the comments, which were then verified and tallied by a team of live proofreaders. For the purposes of this study, we counted only black-and-white mistakes such as misspellings, wrong and missing punctuation, misused or missing words, and subject-verb disagreement. We ignored stylistic variations such as the use of common slang words, serial comma usage, and the use of numerals instead of spelled-out numbers.
Finally, we calculated the average number of mistakes per one hundred words by dividing the total word count of the comments by the total number of mistakes for each candidate.”