Among GOP Hopefuls, Sarah Palin Winning Social Media Race

Posted: March 29, 2011 by The STR in Political NEWS & VEIWS
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Sarah Palin may have slipped in popularity among potential Republican presidential candidates in one poll, but she’s winning the Facebook race against her possible rivals and sits in second place on Twitter.

As of March 27, Palin – the former Alaska governor – had more than 2.8 million friends on Facebook and more than 462,000 followers on Twitter.

No other prospective 2012 GOP presidential contestant had more Facebook friends than Palin as of March 27. However, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich beat Palin on Twitter by a long shot, with more than 1.3 million followers. Gingrich had nearly 120,000 friends on Facebook.

However, popularity on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t necessarily translate into popularity at the ballot box.Writing recently on, Mark Malseed noted that a successful modern-day campaign must include “a hefty presence on social media.” However, he said it remains to be seen how important collecting lots of Facebook fans and Twitter followers will be in the GOP primary battle.

Here are the social media totals as of March 27 for other potential Republican contenders for the White House:

• Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – More than 830,000 friends on Facebook, nearly 31,000 followers on Twitter.
• Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – Nearly 555,000 friends on Facebook, nearly 140,000 followers on Twitter.
• U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas – Nearly 315,000 friends on Facebook, nearly 38,000 followers on Twitter.
• U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota – Nearly 114,000 friends on Facebook, more than 39,000 followers on Twitter.

Here’s a sampling of the politicians’ recent tweets:

Huckabee, March 23 – “Today, Pres. Obama’s healthcare monster turns one year old. Let’s stop it from turning two.”

Romney, March 11 – “An unspeakable disaster in Japan has led to enormous suffering. Ann and I have the people there in our thoughts and prayers.”

Palin, March 13 – “Pres is mistaken. Again. Claims we control 2% world’s oil & he ‘boosts production’? Who advises him? Who writes his stuff? Why won’t press ask?”

Gingrich, March 24 – “Had a great time meeting everyone at the Greenville Republican Women’s Club event today. Thx for the tie w/ Palmetto state emblem.”

Paul, March 21 – “extremely pleased w/ #SCOTUS decision in favor of #Fed transparency. Eagerly await release of info so we finally get some answers.”

Bachmann, March 25 – “The President has failed the first test of leadership by not defining how our vital national interests are at stake in Libya.”

Gallup Poll results released March 25 showed Huckabee topping a long list of potential GOP presidential, with 19 percent of Republicans indicating they were most likely to back him. That gave Huckabee a slight edge over Romney (15 percent). Palin stood at 12 percent after receiving 16 percent support in three previous Gallup polls.

Gingrich was the only other potential Republican candidate who registered double-digit support (10 percent) in the most recent Gallup Poll. Next in line was Paul (6 percent), followed by Bachmann (5 percent).

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