Neither presidential candidate reached a 50% positive score during the debut of the Twitter Political Index Aug. 1. President Obama achieved a 44 score out of a total possible of 100, while Mitt Romney had about half of that at 26 positive.
The new election 2012 tool measures the positive and negative sentiment of the millions of tweets flying each day about the candidates, as they compare to the rest of what's happening on Twitter. So the tweets about Obama on Aug. 1 were more positive than 44% of what else was being said on Twitter on that day.
Twitter teamed up with data analysis firm Topsy and polling firms The Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research to produce the Political Index, which will levy a new score for the candidates each day after 8pm EST.
Adam Sharp, head of government, news, and social innovation at Twitter, was careful to point out in a blog post on the new service that the Political Index is meant to complement, not replace traditional election polling.