During the last race for the White House in 2008, Barack Obama got many of his campaign donations from people who gave small amounts — but since there were a lot of them, they quickly added up to a substantial sum.

As this year’s presidential campaign heats up, there’s a similar narrative — only this time it involves overall influence, and it’s playing out on Twitter.

A recent Yahoo! News analysis of 80,000 political tweets determined that the president had a 70 percent favorability rating among Twitter users with 50 or fewer followers, but his support declined from there until Twitter users with at least 10,000 followers were considered — then his positive numbers went back up again.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, had a favorability rating of less than 40 percent among people with fewer than 500 followers, with his strongest support seeming to come from Twitter members with between 2,500 and almost 5,000 followers. But his support began to fall again among power users who have more followers than that.

So how does that apply to the race? Replace “Twitter followers” with “income” and you’ll start to see a mirror of the 2008 campaign.

Back then, Obama did well with people in lower income brackets and John McCain got more support from people who made between $100,000 and $200,000. But once voters whose income exceeded that amount were considered, Obama’s numbers went up again — just as they did among Twitter users with at least 10,000 followers.

[Yahoo]