The top four Republican presidential candidates are battling it out on televised debates, attack ads and, yes, on Twitter. So who’s winning the race in 140-characters or less?
The folks at Tweepsmap took a look at the Republican candidates’ Twitter followers on a state-by-state basis, to see who’s most influential in Texas, who’s rocking Alabama, and who’s leading the pack in Florida.
If Twitter followers were votes, Newt Gingrich would win the Republican primaries handily. However, a good chunk of his 1.4 million might not actually be all that interested in what he has to say. Many of them started following him as a result of a suggested user list Twitter put together back in 2009, and most of those users are currently inactive.
Nonetheless, this puts Gingrich’s Twitter follower count far and above his competitors: Mitt Romney has 338,000 followers, Rick Santorum has 127,000 and Ron Paul has 238,000 or so.
Still, Twitter followers are a form of online influence, with some suggesting that Twitter may even be a better predictor of voting behavior than traditional polling.
The kind folks at TweepsMap (@TweepsMap) dug deep into the geographical data of the top four Republican candidates’ Twitter followers, to see who was most influential in the various states across the US.
First, the totals. As discussed above, Newt Gingrich boasts the most Twitter followers by far at 67 percent of the total, with Mitt Romney coming in a distant second and Rick Santorum in fourth.
However, when TweepsMap dug down into the geographical data of the candidates’ followers, they noticed that Gingrich’s lead was reduced significantly.
As opposed to his 67 percent lead over the other candidates in the aggregate, Gingrich sees just a 43 percent lead in North Dakota, 45 percent in Illinois and 39 percent in Rhode Island.
TweepsMap found that a whopping 64 percent of Gingrich’s followers didn’t fill out their location in their profile, while the average number usually sits around 10 and 30 percent. Also, Gingrich’s followers are more international than the other candidates, with just 51 percent located in the US compared to 75 percent on average for his competitors.
Despite this, Gingrich still holds the majority of Twitter followers in each and every state… except Utah and Massachusetts. Ron Paul is leading in Utah, and Mitt Romney has taken Massachusetts.
Paul has 56 percent of the followers in Utah (which also happens to have the lowest percentage of Santorum followers), and Romney has 49 percent of the Massachusetts followers, which makes sense given that he was formerly governor of that state.
You can take a look at the full list of states and how they’re following the Republican candidates over at the TweepsMap blog.
So what do you think? Do Twitter followers in each state say something about how its residents will vote? Let us know in the comments below.
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