Ron Paul churns in the @MentionMachine
For someone who complained about a lack of media attention, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul got plenty from The Washington Post this week.
Our ombudsman, Patrick B. Pexton, devoted this past weekend’s column to our coverage of Paul and concluded the Post had a “sparse” record.
The Fix responded with this post explaining why the media might be wary of putting Paul on heavy rotation on its pages.
And, after the media coverage of the lack of Paul media coverage, our media blogger Erik Wemple explained that media coverage about lack of media coverage is still media coverage.
Still with me? No? Let’s just look at what the numbers say.
Globalpoint, a product of Columbia, Mo.-based Idea Works, combed 7,000 media sites worldwide for Paul mentions over the past few weeks, including just before and after the critical Ames Straw Poll held on Aug. 13.
Although Paul came in a very close second to fellow Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) in the straw poll, the data from Globalpoint indicated that the Texas congressman earned far fewer mentions than his Minnesota colleague in the week surrounding the poll. Bachmann was mentioned 5,650 times between Aug. 11 and 17, while Paul’s mentions lingered at 3,112.
But the week after the straw poll, Paul’s numbers dipped into double-digit mentions on the sources scanned by Globalpoint. He only had 87 mentions from those sources Aug. 18-24. That’s much fewer than 2012 contenders former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, or former CEO Herman Cain, all of whom trail Paul significantly in the most recent Gallup polling data.
That’s about the time Paul began to take his beef with his media coverage to his army of grassroots followers. You can see a slight uptick in coverage the last week of August. But Paul still did not attain the level of mentions of “top-tier” candidates Bachmann, Rick Perry or Mitt Romney.
For the entire month of August, Perry had 16,680 mentions, Romey earned 12,349, and Bachmann had 11,828. Paul had just 4,915.
But social networks, Twitter in particular, told a starkly different story. Paul was second among the presidential candidates in Twitter mentions over the four weeks Globalpoint surveyed spcial networks, with 267, 042 tweets. But he was still was still way behind Perry in that category.
Perry made waves by announcing his candidacy on the same day as the Ames Straw Poll. He was mentioned 762,509 times on Twitter.
The same week Bachmann defeated Paul by 152 votes, Paul was named about 20,000 more times on Twitter.
Paul ranked fourth overall in number of media mentions and second in social mentions. Is it just a coincidence that he was directly in the middle — third — in the most recent Gallup poll?
Follow @MentionMachine to track the conversation around the 2012 presidential candidates and social media’s impact on the election.