As a general phenomenon within the Twitterverse, where there are millions of users, a very limited number of accounts receive the lion's share of the attention, said Michael Heaney, assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan, who is conducting research on recent protests in the nation's capital.
"We see a conservative, grass-roots Republican constituency that is cycling among candidates, and now that cycle is shifting to Rick Santorum," he said. "Republican primary voters are looking for two things: a true conservative and someone who can beat President Obama. Romney has always done well on the can-he-beat-Obama side of things. He is not now doing so well on the conservative side. What's happened with Santorum, he's seen as the true conservative, but it's not clear that he can beat Obama."