TWITTER users lean to the political left and talkback radio callers lean to the right, but both form part of the mainstream of opinion.
A study analysing political sentiment in Australia, by an independent firm, compared how views expressed on Twitter and talkback radio moved in comparison with the mainstream, as measured by a conventional national opinion poll, Newspoll.
It found that users of the online social media company Twitter are distinctly better disposed to Labor leader Julia Gillard overall, and talkback callers to Coalition leader Tony Abbott.
In the case of Twitter, it also confirmed what has long been remarked of social media: ''It really is antisocial media,'' according to John Chalmers of Sentia Media. Sentia is the author of the study, the owners of Media Monitors and the first to make such a comparison.
''Talkback has a reputation for being robust and polarised, but Twitter is far more vitriolic and venomous in content.''
While both avenues allow anonymity, personal attacks on Twitter were harsher because comment was not moderated, Mr Chalmers said, while talkback callers were vetted by producers and presenters.
Twitter is also more volatile in the aggregate expression of political sentiment, and prone to what Mr Chalmers described as ''superficial''.
When Ms Gillard stumbled while walking on soft lawn in India, for instance, Twitter users reacted sharply against her ''in a way that probably doesn't represent voting intentions''.
But while the results show the two media channels nurture opposing political biases overall, they did not support the idea that audiences are fragmenting into separate political universes.
In the US, conventional wisdom says media audiences are retreating from the broad community into increasingly narrow, closed, self-selecting political worlds.
But Mr Chalmers said the Sentia analysis discovered that both streams of opinion, Twitter and talkback, moved with changes in the broader national sentiment.
The study sampled sentiment from July 15 to the end of November, when Labor staged a recovery in the national opinion polling. Sentia found that Twitter and talkback ''both reflect the same overall sentiment, to varying degrees'', Mr Chalmers said.
''Both are reasonably sound bellwethers of public sentiment, to a greater or lesser degree.''