GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain's surge since winning the Florida Straw Poll last month has caught fire on the Internet and almost all the buzzing and blogging about him is positive, setting the stage for him to join Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in the top tier of White House hopefuls.
Cain's turnaround from never-was to front-runner also has newcomers to his candidacy suggesting that he's a winner, leader, and the inheritor of President Obama's promise of "hope," according to a new review of over 200 million blogs, tweets, and social media posts conducted for Whispers by Zeta Interactive, the New York-based digital marketing firm.
"Herman Cain is riding a crest fresh from the latest debate and straw poll win in Florida. Words that dominate his buzz focus on 'leader', 'winner,' and 'intelligent'. Cain has jumped to the head of the pack," says Zeta Interactive CEO Al DiGuido. For the Zeta Buzz report, his firm mines online media and uses a scientific algorithm to measure the volume and tone of the presidential race.
Cain, he says, is the biggest surprise, experiencing a huge boost in his tonal rating from 79 percent positive to 85 percent positive, tops of all presidential candidates. Other words people use to describe Cain now include "like," "hope," "smart," and "business."
And as he releases his biographical book this month, This Is Herman Cain!, many surprised GOP insiders believe that Cain's start will continue to rise.
But despite his surge politically and in Internet buzz, DiGuido notes that Cain still isn't the talk of the town. Romney and Perry still gobble up most of the Web's space, or volume. Of all the buzz on the Internet about the candidates, Cain is receiving just 5 percent compared to Romney's 37 percent and Perry's 35 percent.
And while dominating the Web, the duo also still have positive ratings, both at 81 percent positive.
DiGuido gives Ron Paul his due, telling Whispers that the libertarian's positive rating ranks second, at 83 percent. And Paul is consuming 12 percent of the Internet buzz volume. Words people associate with Paul include "underdog," "surprise," and "could win."
But the latest buzz report is bad news for Rep. Michele Bachmann. Her share of the Internet volume has crashed 20 percent, to just 11 percent. And her positive rating is a meager 64 percent. Words associated with her in social media include "over" and "crazy."
"It appears that the frequency of the Republican debates can be a blessing and a curse for some potential candidates. Iowa straw poll winner Michele Bachmann is dropping fast in terms of tone and share of buzz volume. While during August, her cluster words were 'winner', 'victory' and 'Tea Party.' Just 30 days later words that dominate her buzz are 'excessive', 'finished' & 'won't win'," says DiGuido.
"Romney and Perry continue to duke it out and there are signs that all that public infighting isn't doing too much to hurt either one. They are currently running neck and neck with similar share of positive and volume rankings. Ron Paul is being cast by bloggers as the true 'underdog' in the field. The rest of the debate club is not even close to making a real run at the leaders in the pack. Right now with a potential Chris Christie run being rumored, the race is tightening between Perry and Romney. Only time and future debates will tell if Cain's recent rising can be sustained," he tells us.