Romney, Paul lead this week on Inside Facebook’s Election Tracker

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have experienced the most Facebook growth of all the GOP presidential primary candidates this week, according to our Inside Facebook Election Tracker. The two are following similar growth patterns, though Romney had been earning more Likes per day until Thursday.

On the day of the New Hampshire Primary, there were more than 100,000 mentions of Romney in posts, status updates, shared links and comments on the social network, according to survey of all U.S. Facebook users provided to POLITICO by Facebook.
Paul, who finished second in New Hampshire after Romney, had nearly the same number of mentions.

All of the candidates who participated in the NBC News Facebook GOP Debate, except for Mitt Romney, saw higher growth the day after the debate than they had seen the day before. Romney still earned more fans than any other candidate, but he did not experience any boost from the appearance.

Jon Huntsman, whose daily growth has steadily increased since the beginning of the year, enjoyed a small bump in new fans after placing third in the New Hampshire Primary. His page gained 1,495 Likes on Wednesday, but has not maintained that momentum.

Rick Santorum gained 4,546 fans after Sunday’s debate, but his daily growth has dropped considerably since then. Santorum, as we noted last week, experienced sharp growth after a surprisingly successful showing in Iowa. But since placing fifth in New Hampshire, he has seen only about 1,000 new Likes per day.

Rick Perry has been losing fans this week on Facebook, apart from two positive days after the debate aired on Meet the Press.

Newt Gingrich, whose poll numbers have also been falling, has had a long decline in daily Facebook growth. Gingrich had been the top gainer at the end of November and early December reaching up to 2,000 new Likes per day, but only earned 142 Likes in the past day.

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