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GOP Presidential Candidates GOP Presidential Candidates

Comparing the GOP presidential candidates… on Twitter

GOP Presidential Candidates

Most would admit that President Obama did a phenomenal job of working social media during his presidential campaign in 2008. Twitter and Facebook were all a good portion of his campaign even back then when social media was still in its infancy. It’s debatable whether it had an effect or not, but things are different for 2012.

Social media will have an effect on next year’s election. Bank on it.

How do the current GOP candidates stack up against each other on social media? Twitter can be a good indication of effort and focus as well as sentiment when it comes to political social media. Here, we’ll take a look at how they’re all doing on Twitter. Will it make a difference in deciding who is going to run against Obama next November?

Mitt Romney

Romney Tweet

  • Primary Account: @MittRomney
  • Tweets: 657
  • Following: 235
  • Notables Being Followed: @CarlsJr, @Chrysler, @MikeAllen (POLITICO Chief White House Correspondent)
  • Followers: 155,873
  • Listed: 4073
  • Klout: 75
  • Related Accounts: @PlanetRomney (10,270 followers)
  • Style: Intellectual but generic, posts occasionally, never replies to people Tweeting at him.

Team Romney doesn’t use the Twitter account very much at all. There are days that they do not Tweet at all. They do not interact with others with @replies and most tweets seem like an effort to sound intelligent rather than using the service to portray a personality and convey a message. Grade: C-

Ron Paul

Ron Paul Tweet

To understand the Ron Paul tweets, one has to understand his supporters. On the surface, it would appear that all his account does is post links to #TCOT links and other far-right conservative articles and videos, but that’s exactly what they want. In the last month, the account has been more active posting once or twice a day. Grade: C

Michele Bachmann

Bachmann Tweet

  • Primary Account: @MicheleBachmann
  • Tweets: 823
  • Following: 17,743
  • Notables Being Followed: Following too many random people to know, including @vikram_star who is “m intrested in decent girl for share my social views”
  • Followers: 110,427
  • Listed: 4931
  • Klout: 68
  • Related Accounts: @TeamBachmann (33,002 followers)
  • Style: Talks political moves pertaining to her job. Here smaller supporting account tweets about campaign related events.

Bachmann’s primary account seems to represent what we would like to see from working politicians. It’s focused on bills she’s sponsoring, retweeting pertinent charities and events, and seems focused on discussing what she’s doing in her current position while allowing the TeamBachmann account to promote her campaign. There should be at least a little campaign stuff in her primary account as it has her much larger following. That plus the fact that she’s following way too many people for a public figure keeps her from being rated a B. Grade: C+

Rick Perry

Perry Tweet

  • Primary Account: @GovernorPerry
  • Tweets: 1224
  • Following: 31,089
  • Notables Being Followed: Even though he’s following too many to take note, a quick scan reveals that the people being followed are vetted – mostly consisting of Texans, Christians, and generally-active relevant Twitter users
  • Followers: 101,024
  • Listed: 3422
  • Klout: 77
  • Related Accounts: @TeamRickPerry (22,441 followers)
  • Style: Very active. Posting as most Twitter users post – where he is, what he’s doing – with a nice mix of political commentary. Doesn’t talk to anyone.

His profile picture has him holding a puppy. That pretty much exemplifies how the account is being run – as a personal representation. The tweets are a nice mix of relevant and personal. For example, he posted about the a 20% flat tax after congratulating the Texas Rangers for their game 5 win in the World Series. Grade: B+

Herman Cain

Cain Tweet

  • Primary Account: @THEHermanCain
  • Tweets: 1742
  • Following: 1749
  • Notables Being Followed: @mashable, @NASCAR_TNT, @joebonsall
  • Followers: 155,012
  • Listed: 3642
  • Klout: 81
  • Related Accounts: @CainStaff (6842 followers), @CainPress (13,895 followers)
  • Style: Distinct personality is expressed in the tweets. Even when tweeting links, they try to spin them nicely.

If he truly is doing the Tweeting, then kudos. Very clever. The tweets are singular in focus – everything posted is campaign related – but there is personality behind the Tweets. The account tweets from his “voice” so the high score can come down if it’s discovered that someone else is posting tweets for him like the one above. Minor flaw – the same image is used for his account as well as his CainStaff account. They should have different profile pics, though it’s not a huge deal. Grade: A-

Newt Gingrich

Gingrich Tweet

  • Primary Account: @NewtGingrich
  • Tweets: 2979
  • Following: 466
  • Notables Being Followed: @mashable, @NASCAR_TNT, @joebonsall
  • Followers: 1,341,262
  • Listed: 10,003
  • Klout: 68
  • Related Accounts: None
  • Style: Compliments often, seems to run it himself. Boring, though.

Despite having more followers than all of the other major candidates combined, Gingrich’s following is for show, only. Accusations of purchased followers seem to be real as his following is mostly inactive. The tweets themselves are better than some of the candidates and seem to be updated by him personally, but they lack the passion that other candidates display. He does, however, talk to people directly unlike the other candidates – that alone keeps him from being graded a C. Grade: B


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