There were more than 1.1 million postings about Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, ranking him fifth among the GOP candidates between May 2 and Nov. 27, according to a study of more than 20 million tweets by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Paul was also the fifth-ranked newsmaker among the candidates on blogs, but finished next to last in the Republican field in terms of quantity of coverage-ahead in traditional news media. Paul’s busiest week on Twitter was Nov. 21-27, when speculation focused on him making a potentially strong showing in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

The PEJ analysis found Paul to be the “winner” of the Twitter “Media Primary” — the period of the campaign before any voter actually goes to the polls. More than half (55%) of the assertions made about him were positive, only 15% were negative and 30% were neutral. Overall, Paul was the only candidate who generated more positive than negative assertions on Twitter, blogs and in the news coverage. Read More

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Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.