Study: Twitter users tough on Republicans, Obama

By BETH FOUHY | December 8, 2011 | 12:10 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2012 presidential contenders have had a rough go of it on Twitter.

An analysis of the political conversation taking place on the popular social network finds that a majority of the candidates including President Barack Obama have received more negative than positive coverage on Twitter than in regular news coverage or blogs.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism released the study on Thursday. It found Twitter to be a hotbed of opinionated discussion about the campaign, albeit in 140-character bursts known as tweets.

The report analyzed more than 20 million tweets related specifically to the 2012 race between May 2 and Nov. 27.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul has been more popular on Twitter than any of the other candidates, even though he's received relatively limited press coverage.