Posted at 03:57 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Huntsman late N.H. surge lacked social media buzz of Santorum Iowa rally

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s campaign projected he could surge to more prominent contention for the Republican presidential nomination if he finished well in the New Hampshire primary, as former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) did a week before him in Iowa.

Predictions Huntsman could make a splash weren’t totally unfounded. He gained significant ground in several New Hampshire polls from early January and had strong performances in last weekend’s debates.

But after many months of focused campaigning on the ground and heavy spending in the Granite State, Huntsman finished third in the New Hampshire primary behind Mitt Romney and runner-up Ron Paul. And he was once again last — by a long shot — in both Twitter and media mention counts in the @MentionMachine over the past week.


Chris Cillizza noted in the Fix last week that Santorum’s quick rise to a near-upset in the Iowa caucuses was reflected in the sharp increase in Twitter mentions about him. The data showed Santorum was “buzz/momentum candidate of the moment,” Cillizza wrote.

Santorum was second behind Rep. Ron Paul in Twitter mentions on the day of the caucuses and the following day.

Other Web indicators showed an uptick in interest in Huntsman. Google trends showed spikes in curiosity about him around the primaries. Alexander Howard reports Huntman made big gains in terms of Facebook followers and coversation over the past few days. But real-time conversation about him never showed any signs he had the “Huntsmentum” his campaign tried to project.

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By  |  03:57 PM ET, 01/11/2012

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