If you want to know who will capture the GOP’s nomination for presidential candidate, it’s going to be Ron Paul.
According to the Twitterverse, at least.
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism mulled over more than 20 million tweets pertaining to next year’s election, and according to those micro-messages posted over the last few months to the social networking site, Ron Paul is favored most among users of the service.
Researchers with Pew examined millions of tweets made between May 2 and November 27 and weighed them to see if Twitter users posted messages that put each candidate in a positive, negative or neutral light. In the end, the results reveal that around 55 percent of the tweets about the Texas congressman were shining, while only 15 percent of the posts about the libertarian icon were viewed as negative.
"This treatment of Paul stands in contrast to that of most of the GOP field, for whom Twitter has been a tough neighborhood," the study’s authors report. "Five of Paul's seven GOP rivals have had negative opinions on Twitter outstrip positive ones by roughly 2-1 or more."
Compared with other GOP hopefuls, Paul’s popularity is head and shoulders above the competition.
Pew adds that negative posts about the other Republican Party candidates outweighed the positive ones largely in almost every case. Mitt Romney, for instance, was viewed poorly by Twitter users in 40 percent of their posts, while tweets praising the former Massachusetts governor only consisted of around 19 percent of the messages overall. Tweets in the microblogosphere favoring Texas Governor Rick Perry hovered just above 10 percent, with around 55 percent of the mini-messages showing disdain for the candidate.
The study also adds that polling from full-fledged blogs, Paul also comes out in top when it comes to favoritism. Off the Internet, the candidate has also polled favorably in other surveys, recently coming in a close to second to Newt Gingrich in a poll conducted by the Des Moines Register. There in Iowa, caucuses are slated to begin in under a month, setting the toll for the lead-up to Election Day.
And how would the congressman fare in the actual election? Negative tweets concerning President Barack Obama outweigh the positive ones by a 3-to-1 margin.