The GOP Twitter Kings

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Everyone thinks of Obama-land and the Dems as the rulers of new media after their successful harnessing of facebook and social media networking during the 2008 campaign. Apparently, Congressional Republicans have caught on quick. According to a new Congressional Research Study, House Republicans are responsible for the majority of twitter users and twitter traffic (see graphs on pages 4 & 5). Some fascinating stats:

The data show that 205 Representatives and Senators are registered with Twitter (as of September 30, 2009) and issued a total of 7,078 “tweets” during the data collection period of August and September 2009. With approximately 38% of House Members and 39% of Senators registered with Twitter, Members sent an average of 116 tweets per day collectively. Members’ use of Twitter can be divided into eight categories: position taking, policy, district or state activities, official congressional action, personal, media, campaign activities, and other. The data suggest that the most frequent type of tweets were district or state tweets (24%), followed by policy tweets (23%), media tweets (14%), and position-taking tweets (14%).

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Although more than 80% of those registered were Representatives, registration rates were approximately equal between the chambers, with a slightly higher proportion of Senators (39%) registered than Representatives (38%). Overall, 60% of registered Members were Republican and 40% were Democrats. As shown in Figure 1, approximately half of the Members registered with Twitter were Republican Members of the House of Representatives.

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House Republicans sent approximately 55% of all tweets during the two-month period, while House Democrats sent 24% of all tweets. Senate Republicans sent slightly more tweets (12%) than Senate Democrats (9%). While, in aggregate, a greater number of tweets were sent by Representatives than Senators and by Republicans than Democrats, this is in part because a greater number of Representatives and Republicans were registered for Twitter than Senators and Democrats, respectively. At the individual level, there was somewhat less variation. Among those registered for Twitter, the average Republican Senator sent slightly more tweets (39) than the average Democratic Senator (36) during the time period. The partisan variation was larger in the House. Registered Republican Representatives sent an average of 38 tweets during the time period, while the average number sent by registered Democratic Representatives was 27.

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