Does The Internet Care About Newt Gingrich's Endorsement?
BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 28 2011
Three days after Newt Gingrich received the New Hampshire Union-Leader's endorsement by way of a mash note from Joseph W. McQuaid, the paper's publisher, Gingrich's selection sent Joe Scarborough into another why-doesn't-anyone-like-Jon-Huntsman conniption this morning on Morning Joe; stole the spotlight from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during a Romney campaign conference call with reporters and generally drove the political conversation today until oh my God, Herman Cain again.
But does the Internet care? TechPresident staff stuck our faces in the stream of data exhaust coming out of the presidential campaign apparatus and found:
Gingrich is getting mentions on Twitter from people who had not discussed him before. TechPresident asked Adam and Zach Green at 140Elect.com, the father-and-son team of Twitter developers and data miners, what they could tell us about the people talking about Gingrich in the past week. (140Elect this weekend signed on to provide services to former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer's presidential campaign.) Here's what they could tell us:
- 26,794 individual Twitter users mentioned Gingrich between Nov. 21 and Nov. 27, which also includes the night of the Nov. 22 Republican presidential debate.
- Almost 14,100 of those people had not previously referenced the former House speaker's Twitter handle. This means Gingrich wasn't just stirring up buzz among people who already knew him — he was drawing attention from corners of the social graph that had yet to talk about him.
- This is a big deal for Gingrich. Between Oct. 21 and Oct. 27, only 3,542 accounts mentioned Gingrich. This time in September, it was 5,545 accounts.
Gingrich's New Hampshire-specific online organizing platform, Newt Hampshire, appears to have accrued 278 new sign-ups in seven days. How do we get that number? On NationBuilder, the service Gingrich is using to power Newt Hampshire, people in each account's database are numbered sequentially from 1. An account registered on Nov. 21 was given the user id 302470. Another registered today was 302768. That doesn't sound like an impressive buzz-to-email-address-capture rate.
Gingrich's book sales have remained consistent throughout the week. The Amazon Sales Rank tracker NovelRank reports Gingrich's sales rank for "A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters" in hardcover on Amazon.com peaked at about 2,200 on Saturday, when the endorsement was issued, and just over 2,100 on Monday. That's about the same level of sales Gingrich enjoyed on Nov. 23 — also the day after a Republican presidential debate. Per NovelRank, he sold 53 books this month on Amazon.com.
This post has been updated to fix a typo.
This post has been corrected. An earlier version conflated Amazon sales rank with actual book sales; the site NovelRank says Gingrich sold 53 books this month on Amazon.com, excluding sales at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.jp.