In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Study: Republicans More Influential On Twitter Than Dems


Hewlett-Packard conducted the study, using an "influence algorithm" to determine the top congressional tweeters after analyzing 22 million tweets.

HP determined a tweet's influence by assigning an influence and passivity score to it. Just because a user may have millions of followers, that doesn't necessarily mean that person is very influential on Twitter. "To become influential, users must not only catch the attention of their followers; they must also overcome their followers' predisposition to remain passive," according to HP.

While Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took the top spot, 70 of the 100 most influential politicians were Republicans. Also in the top 10 were Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) coming in third, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) placing sixth and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) coming in seventh.

Here's the full top 10:

1. Nancy Pelosi (@nancypelosi); D-CA; 15,964 followers

2. Paul Ryan (@reppaulryan); R-WI; 21,378 followers

3. Michele Bachmann (@michelebachmann); R-MN; 22,967 followers

4. Tom Coburn (@tomcoburn); R-OK; 17,631 followers

5. Bill Nelson (@senbillnelson); D-FL; 12,503 followers

6. John Boehner (@gopleader); R-OH; 48,604 followers

7. John McCain (@senjohnmccain); R-AZ; 1,718,288 followers

8. Joe Barton (@repjoebarton); R-TX; 4,091 followers

9. Sherrod Brown (@sensherrodbrown); D-OH; 4,947 followers

10. Mike Pence (@repmikepence); R-IN; 13,631 followers

Influence is not the same as popularity, HP explained. "While a user on Twitter may have a large number of followers, his or her influence is more strongly associated with their engagement with the network, rather than the raw number of followers or retweets," the researchers wrote.

Other interesting points from HP's research include:

  • "The average age of those on the list is 57, which is about the same as the average age of members of Congress and Senators."
  • "13 of the top 100 are from Generation X, 69 from the Boomer generation and 18 from the Silent generation."
  • "Of the 86 that engaged in a recent campaign, 79 won, 7 lost and one remains outstanding."

Read the full list below:

HP Labs: The 100 Most Influential Members of U.S. Congress on Twitter

(h/t Fast Company)

About The Author


David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at