The Irish poet Oscar Wilde once said that the only thing worse than being talked about unfavorably is not being talked about at all, a harsh reality that now confronts Newt Gingrich's campaign after a particularly brutal week.Web buzz surrounding Gingrich has dropped dramatically over the past few days since the Florida primary. While earlier this week Gingrich faced overwhelmingly negative favorability online, today that conversation about Gingrich's has slowed entirely. There were only 36,702 mentions of the former Speaker on the Internet on Thursday, less than half the amount of one day before, and the lowest point in over two weeks. The sources that are talking about him don't have many nice things to say, either. His favorability rating also dropped from Wednesday, now at -49, the lowest of any candidate.
To determine favorability ratings, the Election Oracle tracks 40,000 news sites, blogs, message boards, Twitter feeds, and other social-media sources to analyze what millions of people are saying about the candidates—and determines whether the Web buzz is positive or negative. That rating is weighted, along with the Real Clear Politics polling average and the latest InTrade market data, to calculate each candidate’s chances of winning the Republican nomination. (See methodology here.)
The drop in volume suggest the web is slowly accepting Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee. But could Gingrich still rise anew? There are three weeks until the next debate, forums where Gingrich has so far shined with well-placed zingers and put-downs of Romney. But creating new web buzz online isn't a foreign concept to Gingrich. When in need of attention, he has frequently found ways to get it.
The Election Oracle is updated with new data every weekday morning. Find it via email, at Oracle@newsweekdailybeast.com, or on Twitter at @ElectionOracle.