Which presidential candidate has received the most positive coverage on Twitter?
A new study from Pew Research Center’s Project For Excellence (PEJ) In Journalism has revealed that while the leading Republican candidates and President Obama himself score poorly on Twitter, it’s Texan Rep. Congressman Ron Paul who gets the thumbs up from the majority of users on the network, with an approval rating that far outweighs his standing across other media.
PEJ, who looked at more than 20 million tweets about the presidential race between May 2 and November 27, discovered that political discussion on Twitter is more opinionated and less neutral than other online platforms, such as blogs.
The report suggested that despite minimal coverage elsewhere, 55 percent of all tweets about Ron Paul were positive, and only 15 percent were negative – a differential of +40. This is in stark contrast to the other GOP candidates, where negative tweets far outweigh the positive at a ratio of at least 2 to 1.
And while President Obama receives far more Twitter mentions than any other candidate – some 15 million of the 20 million studied – his standing is even worse, as negative tweets about the President outflank the positive by 3 to 1.
Overall, the study suggested that political coverage on Twitter about these candidates is “harsher” than in traditional news coverage.
“Twitter is a significant element of the political conversation and ecosystem in this campaign,” said Mark Jurkowitz, the associate director of PEJ, “It’s part of the broad democratization process in media, where people who have significant doubts about the mainstream press and are looking for ways to circumvent it.”