Yesterday we learned that former House Speaker and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is cheating. No, not with a woman; we already know all about how Gingrich's love for America drove him to cheat on his first and second wives. Nope, yesterday Gawker broke the story that Gingrich is cheating in a much more heinous way: on Twitter. An ex-staffer claims that Gingrich's campaign hired an outside agency to create dummy Twitter accounts to follow @newtgingrich and boost his follower account to 1.32 million, which is about twice as high as maybe presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Twitter and about 20 times higher than GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney's.
Gingrich predictably denied the charge, but that's not what we're interested in right now. We want to know: Who is winning the race for the Republican nomination on Twitter? What can we learn about the GOP race by how many Twitter followers each candidate has gained?
Graphed below are the number of followers for the official Twitter handles of each declared candidate (sans faker Gingrich and potential candidates like Palin and Texas Gov. Rick Perry) over the past six month. Week-to-week data was collected from Twitter Counter.