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Social media wrap: GOP leads Democrats on Twitter (call it the Snooki effect)

September 9, 2010 |  2:29 pm


The GOP is out-tweeting the Democrats (and not just because of John McCain's online love-in with Snooki).

Fifteen of the 20 most popular congressional Twitter accounts belong to Republicans, with a similar number registering among senators, a new study from public relations firm Burson Marsteller reports. Twitter-politicians

Top-ranked Tweeter on Capitol Hill is John McCain, whose more than 1.7 million followers dwarfs the next most popular senator, Jim DeMint (about 50,000 followers).

House minority leader John Boehner leads all congressional representatives with about 45,000 followers, more than double the amount of second-placed Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann combined.

Republicans lead Democrats on average number of followers, with 4,820 followers compared with 2,972 for the Democrats.  Congressional accounts have an average following of 3,899 followers. The study, with results at right, examined the Twitter accounts of 533 politicians.

Republicans at 67% are more likely to directly engage with their followers -- by using the @ symbol ...

... in their tweets and by retweeting other users’ comments --  than Democrats (41%). 

Republicans are also more likely than Democrats to have a Twitter account (at 72% versus 55%). About six in 10 political representatives have at least one Twitter account.

The study did not take into account two of the most popular politicians in social media: President Obama (more than 5 million Twitter followers) and Alaska’s former governor Sarah Palin (about 250,000 followers). 

Most striking perhaps is McCain’s online presence, which skews the graphic representation of the results like Al Gore’s climate “hockey stick.” Call it the Snooki effect.

-- Craig Howie

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Top image: John McCain's Twitter page.