A campaign can be a particularly humbling experience. Just ask Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who have both seen the Web conversation about them turn overwhelmingly negative as each seems to be succeeding at dragging the other through the mud with attack ads and then in-person attacks at Monday night’s debate in Tampa.
The Election Oracle showed the favorability ratings for both Gingrich (-29, down 56 points) and Romney (-26, down 51 points) plummeting below zero, meaning talk about them online has become mostly critical.
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.)
In the meantime, nearly 50 million viewers are expected to watch President Obama deliver his third State of the Union tonight—about 10 times more people than have tuned in to the top-rated Republican debates. Obama has a favorability rating of 37, more than 60 points higher than Romney or Gingrich.