Newt Gingrich’s 1.3 million Twitter followers – are they for real?

On Sunday, in an interview with the editorial board of the Marietta Daily Journal, GOP presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich cited his heavy presence in social media as proof that a media elite has unfairly tarred his candidacy as spurious:

Gingrich referred to a news article that did an analysis of Twitter followers.

“And it says, ‘now it’s true that Gingrich has 1.3 million followers and (Michele) Bachmann only has 59,000, but she’s getting more new people every week.’ It turned out I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined, but it didn’t count because if it counted I’d still be a candidate; since I can’t be a candidate that can’t count. So we’ve been a little bit like a sailing ship in the middle of a hurricane in which we are sailing straight into the teeth of the media, and that slowed us down.”

But this afternoon, gawker.com is suggesting that many of Gingrich’s Twitter followers may be manufactured. The post includes this explanation from a former – and, keep in mind, anonymous – Gingrich campaign worker:

”About 80 percent of those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by various “follow agencies,” another 10 percent are real people who are part of a network of folks who follow others back and are paying for followers themselves …and the remaining 10 percent may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to like Newt Gingrich.”

There’s an easy way to determine whether Gingrich’s 1.3 million followers are real or phantom: Ask all 1.3 million Twitter followers to pony up $1 each, and erase that $1 million campaign.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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28 comments Add your comment

Doubt it

August 1st, 2011
5:25 pm

This would show up in the FEC report if the campaign paid for it. Who is the staffer? Have them point in that direction.

Centrist

August 1st, 2011
5:29 pm

At least the daily Newt updates have withered to weekly.

As if anybody cares.

RetiredSoldier

August 1st, 2011
5:32 pm

There you go again Jim.

Frederick Douglass

August 1st, 2011
5:38 pm

But, but, but he’s a genius, he’d rip Obama to shreds in a debate. Truth be told, Newt’s just a cashew among a crowded field of nuts.

Sick of Newt

August 1st, 2011
5:48 pm

There aren’t that many people who could stand to listen to his crap. He’s a joke; a liar; an adulterer; and a whole lot more. As big as his ego and mouth is, he couldn’t even get a 50 cent cup of coffee with either one.

TIM

August 1st, 2011
6:19 pm

Long time ago…..Newt was an ok guy. But now, I have to agree with sickofnewt….the guy is bad newz.

clean up your yard

August 1st, 2011
6:42 pm

tax cuts all around

August 1st, 2011
6:46 pm

Put Newt and Boortz in a bag and shake em up and see which one falls out first. If you could buy either for what they are worth and sell them for what they think they are worth you would be in really good shape financially.

Question Man

August 1st, 2011
6:47 pm

Isn’t it fair to say that nothing Gingrich says is believable?

deegee

August 1st, 2011
7:00 pm

Oh, geez. Even Roger Ailes didn’t want that gasbag mixed up in his media hurricane.

Smoke

August 1st, 2011
7:11 pm

Jim makes a fundraising appeal to Newt’s twitter followers, and RS complains? Say it ain’t so.

Bill Orvis White

August 1st, 2011
8:09 pm

The honorable Speaker Gingrich has millions of supporters who love freedom, low/no taxes, life and a pro-business agenda. All of those ideals are what Speaker Gingrich has fought for these past 40 years. Unfortunately, we have far-left Web sites that attempt to run this made of high moral values, principles and ethics off the campaign trail. Speaker Gingrich is bigger than all of them big mentally and physically. He believes in free markets and free women; pro-life and pro-Oreos; anti-Communist and anti-Nanny Pelosi.
Amen,
Bill

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

August 1st, 2011
8:20 pm

I have followed Newt Gingrich’s career since the beginning and voted for him a time or two. But I’m convinced the man suffers from megalomania — he believes that what he thinks and has to say is so important that he moral failures and eratic behaviors shouldn’t be factored into the equation.

Newt is an echo from a bygone era. He needs to move his ample posterior out of the way and let new, younger voices be heard.

Alabama Communist

August 1st, 2011
8:23 pm

LOL……….1.5 million twitter followers for Newt is like Herman Cain claiming he has storm into Iowa and won over 1.5 million Muslins and Transgender crossdressing Republicans to his cause after they met his Republican Jesus

rally

August 1st, 2011
8:24 pm

Bill while I don’t dispute your above comment let me say this. Gingrich has said some pretty questionable things lately that seem to signal he is an establishment Republican. This is not a changing of the guard that “WE the people want” sure it may be better than Obama and Pelosi. I for one want to see the “True” American people stand up to saying enough is enough of the current people in office now in the Congress of both chambers. Thats where the true change needs to take place. Even if Obama was in office if Republicans controlled both were Super Majorities I do believe we would see a much much much much better country and he could sit in front of that telemprompter and keep spewing what he is spewing and he couldnt do a damn thing about it.

are you kidding me?

August 1st, 2011
8:32 pm

NO one has to run Newt off the campaign trail; he does it very well all by himself.

Bad Reporting

August 1st, 2011
8:42 pm

I “do” social media professionally. There are actual analytical tools (many free) to evaluate quality of followers. I think the article is not based on facts. And what about the make-up of Bachman’s followers?

So many people get fixated on the # of followers – in reality it is about the quality of them and the exchanges. If you look at Kimk or Ashton Kutcher, I imagine huge % are inactive or fakes.

Recovering from Rotator Cuff Surgery this am, so not able to pull out laptop and do analysis today – but I encourage reporters to not make such “guesstimations”

Port O'John

August 1st, 2011
8:49 pm

Those 1.3 million twitter followers (twits?) are just as real as Newt’s election chances.

doodah doodah

August 1st, 2011
9:05 pm

Newt and Cain will be gone before you know it.

td

August 1st, 2011
9:08 pm

I do not understand why all you libs can not leave Newt alone (and Palin also). Neither one is going to be the nominee of the party and you all keep coming on these blogs bashing them over and over again.

I have a thought. It must be because you all are so jealous that they have a superior philosophy.

Question Man

August 1st, 2011
9:26 pm

Since might object to paying 1 dollar, as a show of strength, why not ask each Twitterer to pony up 10 cents? $130,000 ain’t chopped liver, and won’t it prove to non-believers that Gingrich is for real?.

Diehard

August 1st, 2011
9:50 pm

If he really had that many followers, couldn’t he sell the list to Tiffany and buy Callista a nice necklace for the Iowa Straw Poll?

Beth Merkelson

August 1st, 2011
10:08 pm

His twitter followers are as real as I am

Smoke

August 2nd, 2011
6:10 am

Jim makes a fundraising appeal for Newt, and td calls it bashing?

Melo P

August 2nd, 2011
6:50 am

16 of the “followers” are employees of tiffanys, wondering when Newt’s coming back to buy more stuff.

Newt is nuts

August 2nd, 2011
8:21 am

Jim, why in hell are you still paying attention to Newt? There has got to be better political stories out there. Newt is not only nuts, he’s done.

moggynetwork.com

August 2nd, 2011
11:34 am

[...] FollowersSlate Magazine (blog)Following NewtPolitico (blog)Business Insider -KBOI -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 49 news [...]

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