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The Truth About Gingrich's Twitter Followers

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Newt Gingrich has laid out a new argument for why he should be the GOP presidential nominee: He's got the most Twitter followers. But according to a former Gingrich staffer, he bought them.

The former staffer tells media website Gawker that many of the former House speaker’s followers are creations of a firm he allegedly hired to boost his Twitter numbers.

Gingrich said recently that the media hasn’t taken into account that he has “six times as many Twitter followers as all the other candidates combined.”

That criteria, Gingrich contends, means he should be the obvious pick to run against President Obama next year. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann each have fewer than 100,000 Twitter followers.

However, the one-time Gingrich staffer makes the claim that 80 percent of Newt's “followers” are linked to inactive or dummy Twitter accounts created by “follow agencies,” while another ten percent belong to a network of people who follow others back or who themselves paid for followers.

If all that’s true, Gingrich’s actual number of real Twitter followers is around 132,500 – which is still impressive, but doesn’t make him the runaway political choice of the social networking crowd.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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