On Twitter, House GOP has edge over Democrats

AP News

9/29/2011 3:29:54 PM - AP News

Republicans have a 48-seat majority in the House. But on Twitter, they have a much bigger edge. Since 2007, Republicans have sent twice as many tweets as Democrats.

A Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona (SenJohnMcCain) is the most followed senator on Twitter. About 1.73 million people have specifically selected to track McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

Among Democrats, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is the most followed. Her account (clairecmc) is followed by 58,000 people.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is the most followed member of the House with a combined 366,000 followers on his speaker account (SpeakerBoehner) and district account (JohnBoehner).

Far behind is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (NancyPelosi), the most followed House Democrat with 83,000 followers.

Such information _ it changes from day to day _ can be compiled from data available through Twitter and Facebook and tweetstats.com, a website that keeps statistics on such information as when a user most frequently tweets, and whom they tweet and retweet. For this story, data on social media were collected on Aug. 14 and reflect Twitter and Facebook information as of that date.

Other items drawn from the survey about congressional social media:

_75 percent of House Democrats send messages on Twitter; 86 percent of House Republicans tweet.

_42 of the 51 Democrats in the Senate tweet. Both independents tweet, as do 41 of 47 Senate Republicans.

_Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. (DarrellIssa) is the most frequent tweeter, averaging 13.6 tweets per day. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif. (replynnwoolsey) is the most frequent House Democratic tweeter, averaging six tweets a day.

_Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. (senatorboxer) tweets most often in the Senate, seven times per day. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas (JohnCornyn) is the most frequent Republican tweeter, averaging about five per day.

_McCain has the most Facebook "likes" with 875,000. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., comes in second with 82,000.

_In the House, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has the most likes with 270,000. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is the most "liked" Democratic House member with 78,000.

_Boehner has tweeted the most, with 8,783 tweets since he opened his first account in April 2007. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif. (repgaramendi) leads House Democrats with 2,100 tweets. He joined Twitter in November 2009.

_Cornyn has sent the most tweets for Senate Republicans: 4,200. McCaskill has sent the most tweets for Senate Democrats: 1,920.

_The most popular day of the week to tweet on Capitol Hill is Wednesday.

_Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. (DanaRohrabacher) replies the most often: 56.4 percent of his tweets are replies.

_Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M. (RepStevePearce) retweets, sending out a tweet originally sent by someone else, the most often: 46.5 percent. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. (repjimcooper) retweets the most among House Democrats; 34 percent of his tweets are retweets.

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EDITOR'S NOTE _ This story was reported for The Associated Press by students at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.