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Los Angeles Times

The tweets fly at first-ever GOP Twitter debate

July 20, 2011 | By James Oliphant

Six Republican presidential candidates participated in a tea-party sponsored debate on Twitter on Wednesday — and the results showed both the promise and the limits of the social medium.

The format allowed the six, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Thaddeus McCotter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and businessman Herman Cain, to interact directly with supporters and detractors — and allowed their respective messages to be relayed and retweeted across the ever-expanding platform.

The most compelling aspect of the debate may have been the Twitter statistics: Bachmann’s name was mentioned the most often by Twitter participants (1,238), while Cain’s words were retweeted the most often (1,211).

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