Among GOP Hopefuls, Sarah Palin Winning Social Media Race

Author: John Egan
Published: March 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

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.”

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: John Egan

A resident of Austin since 1999, John Egan has 25 years of experience in journalism, communications and public relations. From 1999 to 2006, he was editor and managing editor of the Austin Business Journal. John's business blog, called AustInnovation, is at …

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