It’s Twitter Time: Straw Polls, Gallup Polls and Exhausting Debates – But Can A Little Bird Trump All and Predict the Republican Nominee?

26 Sep 2011, Posted by EPoff in Social Media, Twitter
Twitter Perry vs Twitter Romney

Last year the ladies of The View noticed that American Idol contestants with the most followers on Twitter were less likely to be voted off and more likely to make it to the top.  I thought I would use that same logic to rate the current Republican candidates.  It seemed appropriate as this year’s lineup is almost as entertaining as the contestants in a karaoke singing contest.

But seriously, we know that in 2008, President Obama was able to gain momentum by using social media for his campaign and fund raising.  As of September 26, 2011 Obama has well over 10 million followers on Twitter.  He has a grand following and his social media efforts have paid off.  So how do his Republican counterparts measure up?

After Herman Cain won the Florida GOP Straw Poll with 37% of the vote and with eight candidates officially in the race and more sure to come, there is no telling what could happen between now and next year.   So if we had a Twitter election today, here’s how it would play out.

In eighth place is Rick Santorum with 28,109 followers with Jon Huntsman just a bit above with 36,474.  In sixth place is Ron Paul with 69,159 followers and Herman Cain in fifth place with 80,167 followers.  The top four candidates are as follows:

4th place – Rick Perry  (91,798)

3rd place – Michele Bachmann  (98,197)

2nd place – Mitt Romney (106,862)

1st place – Newt Gingrich (1,331,471)

Surprised?  I was.  Of course these numbers will change hour by hour, day by day and week by week, but Gingrich has a remarkable lead over Romney, Bachmann and Perry.  Of course, Saturday Night Live recently poked fun at Gingrich implying that he didn’t really even want to run.  So, is this just a Twitter fluke or does Gingrich have a chance to come through and make it to the top?  How does Gingrich compare to other candidates likely to make a run for it?  Well, he’s currently well ahead of Sarah Palin (667,351) and Chris Christie of New Jersey (62,900).

So while Mitt Romney thanks his followers for getting him well over 100k and Perry cuddles his pooch in his Twitter profile picture, Newt Gingrich is ten times ahead of his competition in our little Twitter poll.

If Twitter is a good predictor of who will become President in 2012, perhaps Lady Gaga (over 13 million followers) should throw her hat into the ring.  President Gaga has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?


Note: Rick Perry Photo courtesy of Ed Schipul and Mitt Romney photo courtesy of C. Berlet @ publiceye.org via Wikimedia Commons.