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Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from the editors of Scientific American

GOP Candidate Jon Huntsman Makes Waves with Tweet on Evolution and Climate Change

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Jon Huntsman posted a statement on his official Twitter account yesterday that is sure to endear the Republican presidential hopeful to the scientific community:

The statement was retweeted widely, along with a few warnings that many people would, indeed, call Huntsman crazy for holding those beliefs. (I retweeted it myself, not as a political endorsement but because of its newsworthiness—his avowed pro-science stand on those issues puts him in rare company among the frontrunners.)

Huntsman in 2009. Credit: World Economic Forum/Natalie Behring via Flickr/Creative Commons

Huntsman then remarked on his sudden increase in followers; today he has added more new followers (1,085) than any American politician other than President Barack Obama, according to the Web site Fan Page List. But even with Huntsman's recent Twitter flurry, he remains near the bottom of the GOP-hopeful pack in Twitter followers. (In fairness, he's a relative newcomer to the online service, having started posting only in June.)

Here is a chart of Twitter followers for several declared and possible candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, as of late Friday morning (EDT). Two politicians with high-profile pasts—2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich—have a far greater following than the others.

Twitter stats for GOP hopefuls

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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