Gingrich and Perry struggle

Twitter provides a glimpse into the attention/enthusiasm of the most politically active in the US. A recent Pew study, for example, found that people who use Twitter are far more likely to say they use it to learn about political figures than those using other social media [Pew, 11/15/2011]. Twitter is not a sample of the population; it is the voice of the people most interested in and active in politics. With Twitter they tell the world, and us, what they are paying attention to at the moment.

The figure is a count of Twitter messages captured November 9 through November 19, 2011 that referred to Newt Gingrich, the dark line, or Rick Perry, the light line. The number of messages per day range from 5 to 14 thousand for Gingrich and from 3 to 50 thousand for Perry.

During this period Perry was working very hard to resusitate his derialed campaign. Apparently, no one was paying much attention. It seems the gaffe in the November 9 debate was the final straw. Gingrich was struggling to become the next not-Romney candidate for the Republican electorate. It is hard to see much progress in these numbers. November 9 was a debate, and debates produce a spike, but even if you ignore the 9th it is still only up to 10 to 12 thousand messages per day.

An alternative to Romney who can last has yet to appear.

Smith, Aaron (November 15, 2011) Why Americans use social media, Pew Internet

© G. R. Boynton, November 20, 2011