Phoenix Mayoral Candidates: Who's Most Popular in Social (Media) Circles?

Poor Newt Gingrich won't be sitting in the Oval Office anytime soon.

The former Speaker of the House boasted about his 1.3 million followers on twitter, but was quickly exposed by a former staffer for hiring a firm to create fake accounts to make it look like he was far more popular than he was on the social media network.

Gingrich had bragged to a reporter: "I have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined ..."

As it turns out, he's not one of the popular kids. But who among the Phoenix mayoral candidates are the most popular? On the eve of early voting in Phoenix -- during one of the most competitive races in decades -- we decided to take a look at the candidates' stash of friends and followers.

If the theory that popularity on social media networks can translate into political success has any merit, then Greg Stanton, a former councilman, beats out his competitors with 4,186 friends on Facebook, 1,165 people who like his "Stanton for Mayor" Facebook page and 500 people following @StantonforMayor on twitter.

Councilman Claude Mattox comes in second with 2,807 friends on Facebook, and 759 followers on twitter. Unlike other candidates, Mattox doesn't have a separate political Facebook page -- he just turned his personal page into his campaign page.

Local attorney Jennifer Wright edges out former Councilwoman Peggy Neely with 1,495 Facebook friends, compared to Neely's 1,423 friends.

On their political pages, Neely has 503 followers and Wright has 429.

@PeggyNeely has 435 followers, and @wright4mayor has 104.

Wes Gullett's has 854 friends on Facebook, 498 people who like his "Wes Gullett for Mayor" page and 203 follow @wesgullett  on twitter.

(Someone actually went through the trouble of creating a "Don't Vote for Wes Gullett" Facebook page because, according to its unidentified creator, Gullett's camp called a cell phone that's on a do-not-call list. Interesting reason. A mere three people have given a thumbs up to that page.)

And then there is Anna Brennan with 72 people who like her "Anna Brennan For Mayor" page on Facebook and 24 people following @AnnaMBrennan.

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