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Can a presidential candidate compensate for a lack of traditional press coverage through conversation-generating activity - retailpolitics, Internet activity, etc. - that in turn echoes into the media? This study uses time-series analysis of an original data set to model the day-to-day dynamics of the relationship between mainstream news coverage, social-media enthusiasm, and horserace standing in the earliest months of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest. Though some candidates are able to parlay spikes of grassroots enthusiasm into increased news coverage, this process bypasses the candidates who would stand to benefit the most from it - the "underground" candidates whose news coverage lags far behind their grassroots enthusiasm.

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