Rick Santorum

Santorum stays alive in the polls, social media

Shares

In the 2012 GOP nomination race, the old adage holds true: It’s not over, until it's over. Former Sen. Rick Santorum pulled off a decisive heartland hat trick on Tuesday, taking contests in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado. And even if Santorum is still behind front runner Mitt Romney in the delegate count, he easily won on social media, with Twitter hype he hasn't seen in weeks and large fan gains on Facebook.

For the first time in nearly a month, mentions of Santorum on Twitter broke away from Newt Gingrich, the other  contender battling to be the race's conservative alternative. On Monday, Santorum gained more than 23,000 mentions. while Gingrich grabbed only 12,000 mentions, according to Topsy. At the same time, Santorum added 2,670 new followers on Twitter, almost four times the number of followers Gingrich added, according to 2012twit.com.

Shortly after the final caucus results in Colorado were announced late Tuesday night, Santorum was even trending on Twitter. Most of the tweets simply referenced the news of the evening, but others noted the interesting juxtaposition of the day's events.

“So Prop 8 is ruled unconstitutional on the same day that Rick Santorum does well in the primaries. Uncle Sam has multiple personalities,” wrote one user.

Likewise, Santorum also saw a significant jump in fans on Facebook over the course of Tuesday evening. At 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, as the first results were coming in from Minnesota and Missouri, the long shot conservative was at 105,056 fans. Five hours later, as the final caucusgoers wandered home, he had gained more than 2,600 new fans. Within moments of securing the Colorado win, Santorum posted a quick note on Facebook:

“Thank you Minnesota, Missouri and now Colorado!! This is a victory for our party and our nation!”

Photo by Gage Skidmore