The Signal

Online, voters still getting to know Santorum

The Signal

On Super Tuesday, Yahoo! Search trends suggested that voters are still generally less familiar with Rick Santorum than with Mitt Romney. The top searches for Santorum still dealt with fairly basic topics, like "Rick Santorum on the issues," "Rick Santorum biography," and even "how much does Rick Santorum weigh?" Nearly half of Romney's top search terms, meanwhile, were about his wife. Searchers were also curious about Romney's wealth.

Overall, we saw about twice the total search volume for Romney as we did for Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul.

You can have your election; we'll take a cute video

On Twitter, the hashtag "#song" appeared alongside Santorum's name, thanks to an original song in support of Santorum that sisters Camille and Haley Harris recorded with their large musical family and posted to YouTube (below). The song has yet to go viral. There is competing traffic from a song Rosie O'Donnell wrote attacking the candidate.

Palin and Ann Romney catch fire despite the primary distraction

When Sarah Palin spoke to CNN at the Alaska Caucus, mentions of the former vice presidential candidate spiked on Twitter, higher even than mentions of Newt Gingrich when he won Georgia.

We also still saw tremendous volume around Ann Romney's remark on Monday: "I don't even consider myself wealthy." Tweets on this topic were, of course, mostly negative.

Here are two tweets that capture the sentiment we saw circulating on the topic:

@clarkekant: "The Romneys make $56,000 a day, but Ann Romney doesn't consider herself wealthy. You poor thing! Would another tax cut help?"

@TheCanadaParty: "Ann Romney: "I don't even consider myself wealthy." We know you don't. That's the problem."

The biggest spike we saw in tweets on Super Tuesday was around Santorum's speech, which were also largely negative. (Let's face it: People turn to Twitter to complain about and insult candidates more than they do to lavish praise on them.)

In any case, Twitter may be over the GOP primary

The most important insight from Twitter may be this one, from the service itself:

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GOP candidates by new followers (Twitter)

The chart shows the number of new Twitter followers received by the candidates each day. It's been slowly dropping as the contest drags on.

Thanks to the Yahoo! Labs Content Science team for raw data.

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