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  • Date Submitted: 02/22/2012 12:09 PM
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(CNN) -- On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, we took a look at the Republican candidates' standing in the social-media world -- comparing everything from Facebook "likes" to Twitter followers to YouTube channel views.
Five weeks later, a lot has changed. And the Internet continues to reflect the rapidly evolving GOP race to challenge President Barack Obama in November.
So we've revisited the online activity of the four remaining GOP contenders to see how they're doing in the world of social media and the Web.
Some trends leap right out. From our latest look, former Sen. Rick Santorum has made the biggest social-media leap (it couldn't have hurt that our look came shortly after his three-state sweep on Tuesday).
Viewed as just another candidate in a crowded field going into Iowa, Santorum has more than doubled his Twitter and Facebook follower count since then.
The online love for Rep. Ron Paul continues apace as the Texas outsider continues to gain followers on social sites. But that hasn't yet translated into a primary or caucus win. According to analytics site OhMyGov!, Paul's mentions in traditional media continue to trail the other three candidates. Front-runner Mitt Romney got 75,525 media mentions during the past month, compared with 21,784 for Paul.
Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich split the two biggest social media sites. With more than a million, Romney has the most Facebook "likes," while Gingrich is the only candidate to top a million on Twitter (More on that in a bit).
To be sure, all of this is a snapshot of a moment in time and is not scientific. Online support doesn't always translate into real-world votes. But with each candidate tackling the Web in their own way, it's an interesting look at who's gaining ground fastest online and who's support may be slackening.


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