Ron Paul the Only Politician With a Positive Twitter Following
President Obama swept to power on a wave of positive social media support in the last presidential election. Whilst other politicians have attempted to replicate this success, for many of them it has not been a happy tale.
That is the finding of the Pew Research Center's research into Twitter usage by politicians during the current presidential elections.
The research looked at over 20 million tweets between May 2 and November 27 in an attempt to gauge how social media users have treated the presidential candidates.
The report revealed that most Republican candidates have received a rough time on Twitter. Most received roughly twice as many negative tweets as they did positive. The one outlier for the Republicans was Ron Paul, for whom 55% of tweets were positive vs a mere 15% negative messages.
The message was not any better for Barack Obama. The President received 3 times as many negative tweets as he did positive ones. The researchers found the general zeitgeist on Twitter to be much harsher than in other forms of media, in particular the mainstream press.
The tone of Tweets surrounding several GOP candidates fluctuated over the course of the data-gathering. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Cain experienced their least favorable assessments as the survey wound down. And Newt Gingrich's Twitter profile improved later in the game.
"We are learning something new from this, something broader than we knew before," says the Project's director, Tom Rosenstiel. "For years, what the traditional media called 'public discourse' was actually fairly limited. It was really closer to official discourse. Today, because of these new platforms, we know a good deal more about public discourse. And it seems to vary depending on the technology. We use each form of social media differently."