The news that Herman Cain had been accused of sexual harassment sent the sort of shock waves through Twitter no other GOP candidate has generated in this election cycle.
Social analytics site Topsy tracked 36,462 mentions of Cain on Twitter on Sunday, the day the original Politico story was published, and 34,211 more on Monday as Cain went forward with scheduled speaking engagements and impromptu singing performances in Washington.
The Web site 140Elect, which has tracked Twitter activity for 2012 candidates closely over the campaign, found even more tweets mentioning Cain on Monday — a total of 47,804.
“It was the single-most-talked-about scandal of the 2012 election cycle,”140elect’s Zach Green said.
According to Green, no other event spurred as many mentions for a Republican candidate this year. President Obama twice earned more mentions in 24 hours — the day Osama bin Laden was killed and the day Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling.
Under normal circumstances, Cain does a good job creating buzz for himself on social media.
He ranks third among 2012 Republican candidates in numbers of Twitter followers, behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. The Associated Press reported Monday that he is the most likely member of the field to be retweeted.
According to the AP analysis, “Cain has sent 579 messages to about 142,000 followers under @THEHermanCain handle since joining the race. Of those, 144 have been retweeted more than 100 times.”
Cain defended himself on Twitter on Sunday, and his account has been consistently active since the reports broke.
The Washington Post reported earlier Tuesday that the attorney for one woman who made the harassment allegations against Cain is working to release her from a confidentiality agreement about the matter.
Whether or not Cain can bounce back from the story, the prospect of hearing the accuser’s side of the story will likely keep the Cain tweet-mention volume high.
Follow @MentionMachine to track the conversation around the 2012 presidential candidates and social media’s impact on the election.
More on Herman Cain from PostPolitics.com