December 16, 2011

Twitter and the Campaign: Its Coverage of Ron Paul


Between May 2 and Nov. 27 of this year, there were more than 1.1 million postings on Twitter about Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul. He received far more discussion on social media than in the traditional news outlets.

There were more than 1.1 million postings about Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, ranking him fifth among the GOP candidates between May 2 and Nov. 27, according to a study of more than 20 million tweets by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Paul was also the fifth-ranked newsmaker among the candidates on blogs, but finished next to last in the Republican field in terms of quantity of coverage-ahead in traditional news media. Paul’s busiest week on Twitter was Nov. 21-27, when speculation focused on him making a potentially strong showing in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

The PEJ analysis found Paul to be the “winner” of the Twitter “Media Primary” — the period of the campaign before any voter actually goes to the polls. More than half (55%) of the assertions made about him were positive, only 15% were negative and 30% were neutral. Overall, Paul was the only candidate who generated more positive than negative assertions on Twitter, blogs and in the news coverage. Read More

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