Media favored Mitt coverage despite strong NH interest in Paul news

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Google searches for news about Texas Rep. Ron Paul dominated the Republican field in New Hampshire in the days leading up to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, while the amount of media overwhelmingly favored former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The results of a recent study by social media analytics firm Socialagility suggested that the number of times a candidate is mentioned in the media — as opposed to social media — more closely mirrors the results of an election.

Searches for news stories about Paul grew 38.6 percent between Jan. 3 and Jan. 8, according to Google Insights for Search. News searches for Romney increased 78.6 percent in New Hampshire, but when compared solely against Paul, Romney did not register on the New Hampshire graph. There was not enough online interest in new stories about Romney — nor the rest of the GOP candidates, other than Paul — to generate enough search volume to even produce a graph for the last 30 days.

New Hampshire Google users displayed more interest in news stories about Ron Paul than the rest of the GOP field, while Romney received 175 percent more media coverage than the Texas congressman.

While media mentions in the past week — as of January 10  — dropped for every Republican candidate except for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Romney led the pack with 9,155 media mentions according to the Washington Post app, @mentionmachine. He was mentioned 3,937 times more than Paul.

Excluding Paul, Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum were the only Republican candidates who registered on a graph depicting a broader look at New Hampshire search interest trends from December 11 – January 8. Romney rose 284 percent between Jan. 3 and Jan. 8, while interest in Santorum averaged at zero percent.

As of Jan. 8, broader interest in Paul among New Hampshire Internet users was 150 percent higher than interest in Mitt Romney. (RELATED: Google: Ron Paul, Kim Kardashian more popular in New Hampshire than Romney)

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