Monday, March 26, 2012
Originally published in the Star Tribune:
A new report on congressional Twitter use found that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is among the most "influential" lawmakers on Twitter, behind Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Ellison ranked 3rd in overall influence, making him the top Democrat. (Republicans apparently make better use of Twitter overall).
Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann, who ran for president, did not crack the Top 10 on the influence scale, but ranked 6th in overall "popularity" among D.C. lawmakers.
Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, came in 4th on the "trust" scale.
The Edelman study is based on data reflecting tweeting frequency, followings, responses, retweets, and other factors involved in some 60,000 tweets from some 450 lawmakers, who are increasingly turning to social media to humanize themselves and present their viewpoints in the political arena.
Edelman originally had Ellison ranked 8th in influence, but crunched the numbers again for CNN, which put him at 3rd. In the original study, he also ranked 5th on "engagement". As Ellison's Twitter followers know, he also handles his own tweeting. No aides cranking out his Tweets for him.