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Nearly All Newt Gingrich's Twitter Followers Are Fake

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Newt Gingrich twitter
Not all of Newt Gingrich's 1.3 million Twitter followers are fake, only 92 percent.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Roundup: the day's top election 2012 stories

Not all of Newt Gingrich's 1.3 million Twitter followers are fake, only 92 percent: "We just started running the 2012 candidates' numbers three weeks ago," said Josh Mackey, [search firm] PeekYou's general manager of business and product development, "and when we saw your story, we went back to pull the Gingrich numbers. The huge majority of his followers are either completely anonymous people who have no other web presence, or they are spambots." [Gawker]

Rick Perry is this close to jumping into the presidential race: "In an e-mail invitation obtained by The Fix, former Perry campaign finance chairman Jim Lee invites an exclusive group to dine with the governor in Austin as he gets ever-closer to joining the presidential race. The dinner is set to be held either Tuesday or Wednesday and is limited to 15 people, according to the e-mail. 'Texas Gov. Perry is poised to enter the presidential race in the coming weeks and, if he does, will completely transform the Republican primary,' Lee said, adding later: 'Ours will be a condensed and unconventional strategy yet we have a clear path to the nomination.' [Washington Post/The Fix]

Jon Huntsman made to regret sexist slap at Michele Bachmann: "Many candidates who go head-to-head with female rivals have ended up in verbal somersaults after delivering offhand comments about the appeal (or lack thereof) of female foes. So rival presidential campaigns took notice of Jon Huntsman's observation that Michele Bachmann 'makes for good copy – and good photography,' words included in a lengthy New York magazine piece about the former Utah governor that was published this week. After a New Hampshire campaign event Monday, Huntsman, who is now trying to restart his stalled campaign, said there was 'no slight intended.'" [LA Times]

Mitt Romney descends from the clouds: 'After a relatively low-key start to his second presidential campaign, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney plans to pick up his pace this month as the 2012 sweepstakes intensifies, with a a blitz of appearances in early voting states and a list of policy proposals... Romney has kept a deliberately quiet profile in the early months of the campaign, even as he has faced pressure from some supporters to escalate his public activity. It’s a strategy that seems to have served him well, as he amassed a money advantage and kept his lead in early polls. But the impending Aug. 13 Iowa straw poll and the potential competition from Texas Gov. Rick Perry are likely to change the contours of the race and might be the strongest challenge yet to the front-runner status Romney has enjoyed thus far." [Washington Post]

Rivals note Romney's tendency to stay out of the arena while cheering for both sides and not chasing every (or any) ball: "Romney was hit repeatedly by his opponents and the Democrats for refusing to offer an opinion on the debt deal until twelve hours after Congressional leaders accepted it – but that’s just been the most obvious example of a campaign that’s keeping the candidate far from the front lines and the headlines.... His rivals and critics, meanwhile, are beginning to hone in on his calculated refusal to take risky political positions, driven by apparent concern for the general election and by a second-time candidate’s understanding of the rhythm of political cycles. 'There’s a difference between not chasing every ball, and not getting in the arena,' said a spokesman for one rival, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. 'In the ongoing battle of ideas for the future of America, Mitt Romney is a spectator with a record of cheering for both sides.'' [Politico]

Rick Santorum, by criticizing Thaddeus McCotter, reminds us that Thaddeus McCotter is running for the GOP nomination: "Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Republicans in congress have presented a 'muddled and confused' message on the nation’s debt dilemma.... Santorum is especially critical of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and Thaddeus McCotter, three members of congress who are running for president. 'I didn’t see their input at all in this whole process,' Santorum said during an interview with Radio Iowa. 'So how can you say you want to be the leaders of the country if you can’t even lead the Congress?'" [Radio Iowa]

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