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Republicans More Influential on Twitter than Democrats [Study]

Republicans swooped in for a victory in the House of Congress earlier this month in the US mid-term elections, but that’s not all they won: they also won the “election” on Twitter. A new study from Hewlett-Packard (HP) measures the influence of House Republicans and Democrats on Twitter, and finds that Republicans are far-and-above the winners.

HP developed an innovative measurement of Twitter influence, which was created by rigorously analyzing 22 million tweets. Researchers used both “influence” and “passivity” as factors, and determined that in order to become influential, a Twitter user must be able to break past their followers’ natural inclination to be passive. This means that the number of followers isn’t as important as the number of engaged followers.

The new research applies the measurement of influence to House Republicans and Democrats in order to see which politician and political party is most influential on Twitter. Here are some key findings:

  • 70 of the top 100 most influential members of Congress on Twitter were Republican
  • The average age of the top 100 Congress people on Twitter is 57, which is also the average age of members of Congress more generally
  • Of the 89 members of Congress on Twitter who engaged in a 2010 campaign, 79 won, 7 lost and one is still in contention

And here is the list provided by HP of the top ten most influential members of Congress on Twitter:

  1. Nancy Pelosi – Democrat
  2. Paul Ryan – Republican
  3. Michele Bachmann – Republican
  4. Thomas Allen Coburn – Republican
  5. Bill Nelson – Democrat
  6. John Boehner – Republican
  7. Eric Cantor – Republican
  8. John McCain – Republican
  9. Joe Barton – Republican
  10. Sherrod Brown – Democrat
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