We know Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul are leading in the latest polls in Iowa, followed by a rapidly rising Rick Santorum.

New data provided by social media research firm Globalpoint shows the volume of tweets about each candidate correlates with the trends in the polls.

Globalpoint surveyed Twitter mentions of each of the candidates that also included mentions of Iowa, the #iacaucus and other Iowa-related terms from Dec. 24-29.

Just as in the polls, the top three tweet-getters were Romney, Paul and Santorum. The volume of tweets about Paul that met the Global point criteria was so high, CEO Michael Urban said Twitter would not allow him to retroactively access the data for Dec. 24 and 25 once he began the study on Dec. 27.

Romney and Santorum were mentioned 33, 161 and 31,195 times respectively over the course of the six-day study, and Paul was mentioned 27,000 times in just the four days that data was available on him.

Newt Gingrich was a distant fourth with just 18,701 tweets about him and Iowa in the same time period.

Globalpoint also scored the tweets about each candidate to determine whether the sentiment toward them on Twitter was favorable or unfavorable.

Paul, who has fared well in other social media sentiment studies over the course of the campaign, had the best showing in this study as well: 60 percent of the tweets about him contained favorable sentiment. Rick Perry, who was sixth in terms of volume of tweets about him, was the only other candidate with a net positive sentiment.

About those ads

Topsy Labs on Thursday released a study of Twitter data to determine reaction on Twitter to the campaign ads that aired this month on television and the Web.

Perry’s “Strong” ad was the most mentioned of the cycle (more than 18,000 references) and the comments about it on Twitter were overwhelmingly negative: 56.9 percent of them contained unfavorable sentiment.

Paul had another win in the ad category: his “Serial Hypocrisy” ad was mentioned 5,000 times. Topsy noted that ad was also shared 4,000 times on Twitter and a link to the ad was shared 4,000 times.

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