WALKER 7-07132015192840 (copy)

Gov. Scott Walker speaks to supporters as he announces he is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at the Waukesha County Expo Center, Monday, July 13, 2015 Photo by Mike DeVries - The Capital Times

English teachers might want to look away from this one. When it comes to grammar and spelling skills, Gov. Scott Walker's supporters are not great. 

But they're not the worst, either. That dubious honor goes to real estate tycoon Donald Trump, whose supporters average 12.6 grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes per 100 words.

Walker supporters have the fourth-highest ratio of writing mistakes among the Republican presidential candidates participating in one of the two Fox News debates airing Thursday night, according to a ranking provided by the automated proofreading company Grammarly

Grammarly analyzed Facebook comments of 15 words or more left on each candidate's official page April 1 and June 11. Because the study's goal was to assess the candidates' supporters, any obviously negative comments were weeded out, leaving only positive or neutral ones.

"For the purposes of this study, we counted only black-and-white mistakes such as misspellings, wrong and missing punctuation, misused or missing words, and subject-verb disagreement. We ignored stylistic variations such as the use of common slang words, serial comma usage, and the use of numerals instead of spelled-out numbers," according to the study's methodology.

The results showed that popularity in the polls doesn't automatically equate to grammatically savvy supporters.

Carly Fiorina, whose 13th-place ranking puts her in Thursday's "happy hour" debate airing before the prime time scrum, boasts the least mistakes among supporters. Fiorina's Facebook fans average 6.3 mistakes per 100 words, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson's supporters come in a close second with 6.6 mistakes per 100 words. Carson is ranked in fifth among GOP candidates based on Fox News' poll averaging.

Of the 16 GOP candidates, Walker's supporters have the fourth-highest mistake ratio, with an average of 10.6 mistakes per 100 words. Walker is ranked third on the debate stage, behind frontrunner Trump and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush supporters fall in the middle of the Grammarly scale, with 7.9 mistakes per 100 words.

The candidates whose supporters average more mistakes than Walker's are former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Trump.

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.

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