- The Associated Press: Study: Twitter users tough on Republicans, Obama – The 2012 presidential contenders have had a rough go of it on Twitter, according to an analysis of the political conversation taking place on the popular social network.
The study released Thursday by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found Twitter to be a hotbed of opinionated discussion about the campaign. But a majority of the candidates, including President Barack Obama, have received more negative than positive coverage on Twitter than in regular news coverage or blogs.
Among the findings:
—Texas Rep. Ron Paul has been more popular on Twitter than any of the other candidates, even though he’s received relatively limited press coverage. Fully 55 percent of tweets about Paul have been positive, the study found, compared with 15 percent that were negative.
—Negative tweets about the rest of the Republican field have outweighed positive tweets by at least a 2-1 margin. Obama has fared even worse, with negative assessments outweighing positive by a 3-1 margin.
—Tweets about three Republican candidates — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign last Saturday — grew increasingly negative since October, the study found. Newt Gingrich, who has surged to the top of many polls in recent weeks, became the subject of more positive than negative tweets the week of Oct. 24.
—Obama far outpaced the Republican field in the number of tweets about him. The Democratic president was the subject of about 15 million mentions, compared with Cain, who was the subject of 2.1 million tweets. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, placed third with 1.5 million. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was fourth with 1.4 million mentions.
—The study found the language used on Twitter to be “very personal and pungent and even profane … leveling allegations that would be off-limits in more traditional news coverage.”
- Gallup Poll Shows Narrowing Enthusiasm Gap – Republicans are less enthusiastic about voting for president in 2012, according to a new Gallup survey released early Thursday, suggesting that the turnout advantage they enjoyed in last year’s midterm elections may be waning.
Forty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting, compared to 44 percent who say they are less enthusiastic. In a mid-September survey, 58 percent of Republicans were more enthusiastic, while just 30 percent said they were less enthusiastic.
While the gap may be narrowing, Democrats’ enthusiasm has not increased accordingly: 44 percent say they are more enthusiastic (compared to 45 percent in September), while 47 percent say they are less enthusiastic.
Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport posits that the closing of the enthusiasm gap — from 13 points to 5 — “could reflect the intensive and bruising battle” for the GOP presidential nomination and “the rapid rise and fall of various candidates” therein. But if enthusiasm among Republicans continues to decrease, it could have effects beyond the presidential election, potentially threatening the GOP’s ability to take control of the Senate and maintain or increase its majority in the House.
- Abramoff says Gingrich was lobbying – Disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff hit Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich for his claims that he did no lobbying on behalf of the mortgage and health care companies that paid him millions in consulting fees, calling the system of providing “strategic advice” corrupt.
“I don’t want to say he’s lying, he may believe what he’s saying, but people have to understand that lobbying isn’t just going to meet with members,” Abramoff said.
Abramoff served more than three years in prison following a conviction for corruption and fraud stemming from gifts he provided in exchange for votes to benefit Native American tribes and casinos.
- Democrats: Gingrich Negatives Could Mute Economy Negatives in 2012 – The suddenly plausible chance that Newt Gingrich could run against President Obama in next year’s election has Democratic strategists scrambling to determine which lines of attack would work best against the former speaker of the House.
Their ideas are split into two strategic camps: Focus on his congressional career, which was marked by partisanship and, at times, his embrace of very conservative positions, or, highlight Gingrich’s tumultuous personal history and uneven temperament.
A strategy focused on Gingrich the man would give Democrats a chance to shift the campaign away from a conversation about Obama’s handling of the economy, where he continues to receive low marks, to a battle of personalities. Gingrich’s history of adultery and his three marriages have already caused problems for him in the GOP primary, and those issues could linger into the fall. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released late last month showed that only 35 percent of a general-election audience holds a favorable view of him, while 42 percent hold an unfavorable view.
- DCCC Going On TV In OR-01 Special Election – Democrats Worried? – Anybody nervous?
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is buying television advertising in Oregon’s First Congressional District, an indication that the race to sew up ex-Rep. David Wu’s old seat may not be in the bag.
The Democratic ad attacks businessman Rob Cornilles (R) for alleged ties to the tea party movement, a theme that Democrats have been hammering throughout the special election. The ad buy will run beginning Thursday through the weekend, at a cost of $124,280 — a significant investment in the Portland media market.
“In this environment, we’re not taking anything for granted especially when the Republican is an untrustworthy self-funder who is trying to rewrite his extreme Tea Party positions,” a DCCC spokeswoman said.
The Democratic nominee, former state Sen. Suzane Bonamici, is up with her own advertisement, a positive ad that features Bonamici meeting voters and railing against debt and subsidies for oil companies. Bonamici’s ad was produced by Dixon Davis Media, the prominent Washington-based firm.
- Transcript of Washington Examiner interview with Mitt Romney – MARK TAPSCOTT: From the very beginning of this race you’ve drawn support from about 25 percent of Republican voters and there’s been a succession of “not Romney” shooting stars, if you will, who shot up and then down. What do you think is the reason you’ve stayed in this 25 percent area of support?
MITT ROMNEY: I don’t know the answer, in part because I am not a political scientist, a pundit who evaluates why people move in one direction or another. I am a conservative business guy with a message to the American people that I think is compelling. And if so I’ll be the nominee and the president, and if not I’ll go back to business. And so I have theories that I hear various people say different things. I hear some say, ‘look, you’re well known,’ – I’m well known – ‘people know who you are, they saw you last time around, there’s an image of who you are, as other people come around they project on them a sense that they are exactly like who we are as voters, and we give them a lot of support, and then comes the agonizing reappraisal as we get to know them and their strengths and their weaknesses and their numbers may trail off. Some trail off more precipitously. Others will come off in a more gentle manner.’ But I stay about the same.
- MA-Sen Poll Watch: Elizabeth Warren soars 7 up over Scott Brown – Democrat Elizabeth Warren has opened up a lead against Republican incumbent Scott Brown for the first time in their U.S. Senate showdown, but a barrage of attack ads appears to have damaged Warren and Brown’s standing among Massachusetts voters, a new University of Massachusetts at Lowell/Boston Herald poll shows.
Warren leads Brown by a 49-42 percent margin, outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points. That number includes voters who say they are “leaning” for either candidate. But even without the “leaners,” Warren still leads by a 46-41 percent margin, barely within the margin of error.
- For Romney, Mormon question rears its ugly head in Iowa – For Romney, Mormon question rears its ugly head in Iowa
Religion just got re-injected into the presidential race thanks to new ads from Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. But really, it never left.
New polls in Iowa suggest Romney’s Mormon religion continues to be a sticking point among all-important evangelical Christians there. And that’s bad news for a Romney campaign that is trying desperately to prevent Newt Gingrich from scoring a big victory in the state’s caucuses.
A new CNN/Time poll out Wednesday showed Romney trailing Gingrich 33 percent to 20 percent in the Hawkeye State. A look at the crosstabs suggests religion is a big reason why.
- Read his lips: John Sununu hates Newt Gingrich – With former Speaker Newt Gingrich surging in the polls, former Gov. Mitt Romney has finally decided it’s time to go on the offensive. One of the men Romney has lined up to attack Gingrich is former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu.
The feud is not new.
As a former chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, Sununu has a long-held grudge against Gingrich — who fought Bush’s budget deal that included raising taxes.
Here’s an excerpt from a 1990 Fred Barnes article that describes a meeting for Bush’s re-election efforts:
Sununu attacked congressional Republicans for abandoning the president. House Republican whip Newt Gingrich, who led the opposition to the budget deal, wasn’t invited to the meeting. But he was on Sununu’s and [former OMB director Richard] Darman’s mind. “You could see the Newt chip on their shoulders,” said one Bush adviser. “It was a strikingly bad discussion. The death embrace [of Sununu and Darman] grew tighter.”
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-08 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-08 #tcot #catcot
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