Posted August 6, 2007 10:45 am by with 14 comments

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image It seems republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul can’t keep out of the news. Unfortunately, he’s not exactly getting coverage for his dominance in the polls, but for his dominance in social media.

Our own presidential candidates search reputation study shows Paul as having one of the best Google reputations, but CNET’s fascinated by his overall social networking presence.

Paul, 71, enjoys about 160,000 mentions on, more than the next four most popular candidates combined.’s statistics show Paul’s Web site with a narrow lead over all the Democratic candidates and a sizable one over his fellow Republicans. Similarly, a report by Hitwise puts Paul’s Web site ahead of other GOP candidates in terms of popularity.

With this much online popularity, it makes me wonder what the political makeup is of online social networks. Could it be that most social network members are libertarian?

For his part, Paul attributes his online popularity to a set of beliefs that resonates with a younger crowd…His political views are broadly libertarian, which means supporting ideas like free markets (less regulation), individual rights (junk the Patriot Act), lower taxes (eliminate the IRS), and civil libertarianism (legalize marijuana).

Sounds like he’s the perfect candidate for Digg members! 😉

  • Are Social Network Users Libertarian Voters?

    The real question is Are Social Network Users Voters? I think the answer is increasingly yes. From campaign contributions to attendance at rallies nationwide to the huge “boots on the ground” mobilization in Iowa this week, internet support for Ron Paul is translating to real-world grass roots support. He has over 20,000 real-life volunteers signed up on his website alone and his MeetUp members just passed 30,000.

    Social network users may skew toward the pro-freedom, leave me alone types, but in general they’re just ordinary people. Freedom really is popular.

  • @Tex – but it’s not translating to the polls, he’s still the underdog.

  • ….it’s not translating to the polls.

    Yet. It’s early. Cracks in the Republican edifice are appearing.

    I’ve been to two rallies for Ron Paul, the one at Google in Mountain View and last Friday in Pittsburgh. I can say that online support is translating into people doing real life activities, like showing up at rallies and writing checks. Who knows why that support doesn’t show up in the polls when you can see with your own eyes that it’s real and growing.

  • The writer of the CNET article is well-known as a Libertarian-ideology proselytizer who has boosted Ron Paul in the past.

    You ask the wrong question anyway. The correct one is more like:

    “Do Libertarian ranters generate a lot of noise?”

    Obviously, the answer is “yes”.

  • Oh, baloney, Seth. Anyone with fingers and an internet connection can disprove your “boosted” claim.

    Even if you were right, so what? Did McCullagh get anything wrong?

  • Umm, what do you think you “disproved”? The results prove my point.

    I’m mostly concerned myself with stuff like the omission of Ron Paul’s absolutely troglodytic position against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
    Even the old Dixiecrat racists wouldn’t go that far in the 21st century.

    McCullagh almost certainly knows this, and *approves*. But he wouldn’t dare mention it in a respectable article, because he’s pushing Ron Paul.

    To give you an idea of his reputation, McCullagh is the guy who fabricated the “Al Gore Invented The Internet” story – see

  • Andy,
    I posted a SERP for the presidential candidates today.

  • Even more interesting to me is that Ron Paul’s success with social media and search might be a test case to see how impactful both are in presidential elections.

  • I am a Ron Paul “fan” and believe he is one of the few candidates that tries to speak the truth and not give out double speak like so many have in the past. Also I feel the public is getting really comfortable with him. He did well on Drudge’s poll after the Iowa debate:

  • Anthony

    Ron Paul is the best candidate – We need someone to restore the Constitution that’s being systematically dismantled amendment by amendment. Queen Hillary is not the solution. Barack Obama is not the solution. Fred Thompson is not the solution. Ron Paul is sooooooooo the solution.

  • It’s good to see that Ron Paul’s social media work in full effect. You can tell that it’s not just some kind of hype, when he actually has fans come to his support in blog comments.

  • Torchbearer

    1964 Civil Rights Act?
    Do you realise this act only applies to the southern civil war states? In that alone its unconsitutional… ‘equal justice under the law’.
    It is a continuation of reconstruction, which has never been lifted from louisiana. It seperates our southern communities, destroys community schools, and adds nothing to the rights already garunteed by the consitution. its sole purpose was the punish the rebellion states.
    I would assume, Dr. Paul voted against it because it is unconsitutional. Read your history.

  • Jordan McCollum

    No, the Civil Rights Act did not only apply to Southern states that had rebelled more than a century before it was written. There were laws which the Civil Rights Act superseded in every state of the union—including states that hadn’t even been created at the time of Appomattox.

    I am a born and bred Southerner, but you have been fed forty-year-old revisionist history. The current reading of history recognizes that Reconstruction effectively ended quite soon after it began. Where did I learn that? In my History of the American South class from a proud Mississippian professor.

  • There are many social networking services operated like,, etc. is being operated by MySpace is an online community that lets you meet your friends’ friends. These are popular sites especially among youths. We can judge the popularity of these sites by seeing their ranking in Alexa. Orkut has been steadily rising on the Alexa charts but MySpace is still significantly bigger than