Now that Rick Perry has awkwardly called it quits, there are only four remaining members in the Fellowship of the Ring of Republicans. There's another primary coming up this weekend, this time in South Carolina, that will surely winnow the field of candidates a little more so as to further solidify the conclusion that Mitt Romney is already the Republican presidential candidate.
But, the Republicans aren't Facebook official with their Romney relationship status yet and so we're still supposed to play along as if we still believe in Santa Claus. Contributing to the charade that this weekend's primary is meaningful, social media scientist (can you actually major in that now?) Dan Zarrella took a look at the Twitter activity regarding the final four candidates - Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich - to see how each of them are doing among the crucial Twitter constituency. Using the multiple metrics examined by Zarrella, let's score how each candidate did and just get this primary election over with:
Most followers: Gingrich.
Average number of Retweets: Paul.
Reply percentage: Gingrich.
Link percentage: Paul.
Mentions per hour: Romney.
Followers per mention: Romney.
Final Score: Santorum, 0; Gingrich, 2; Romney, 2; Paul, 3.
Ron Paul wins! He's the next President of the United States of Twitter! Come on down! Although, Paul's had a pretty good relationship with the Twitterscape as the primaries have lurched to inevitabile Romney-vision.
(Oh, and as a conciliatory note, in case people on Twitter weren't aware, there's a guy named Rick Santorum running for president, too.)
If only everything were that easy, right? Right. Unfortunately, this is the real world where we still have to grunt and sweat under a weary life of real elections, so take a look at the full infographic to actually understand what's happening on Twitter with the Drab Four.