"I watched lightweight Senator Marco Rubio, who is all talk and no action, defend his WEAK position on illegal immigration. Pathetic!" Donald Trump recently told 4 million people. Or, at least @realDonaldTrump did.
The age of Twitter has amplified presidential hopefuls' public outreach efforts to an incredible degree. It's also given them a low-cost method of disseminating their messages and opened them up to unfettered abuse from nearly anonymous critics.
"The role of social media has allowed [Trump] to kind of bypass traditional media," Zac Moffatt recently told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Donald Trump has really figured out a way to drive his message through social media without always having to go on and do interviews in person." Moffatt directed the digital operation for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and has since founded Targeted Victory, a consulting firm focused on online tactics.
The Big Crunch took a look at the habits of the Republican presidential candidates to see who tweets, who retweets and who gets the most love on one of the world's biggest social media sites/online popularity contests. We collected data over eight days in a typical, nondebate week this fall. We weighted the number of retweets and favorites candidates received along with the number of replies they sent to create an engagement index.