Donald Trump most successful, Mike Huckabee most racist on Twitter.

This Week's Most Successful, Most Racist, and Most Talked About Candidates on Twitter

This Week's Most Successful, Most Racist, and Most Talked About Candidates on Twitter

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The Slatest
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Oct. 16 2015 3:45 PM

This Week’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings

Mike Huckabee speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rectangles are sized by number of retweets. Click on a candidate to zoom in.
Interactive by Andrew Kahn

Welcome to Week 8 of the Slatest’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings. Above, you’ll find our handy interactive of the entire week’s worth of candidate tweets: how many each White House hopeful sent and how often they were retweeted and favorited, along with how each fared in the 140-character fight with their political rivals on both sides of the aisle. (Click to zoom in on a particular candidate, and click again to see the content of each tweet.)

Below, meanwhile, you’ll find our tried-and-true method of ranking each candidate’s single most successful tweet of the past seven days. Together, the two offer a helpful snapshot of which topics dominated the political conversation online and also give us some insight into which contenders are winning the campaign Twitter wars and why.


The ground rules again:

  • For the rankings below, we’re defining a candidate’s most successful tweet as the one that receives the most retweets.
  • Tweets that include a direct request for a retweet are ineligible for the traditional rankings because that’s cheating. RT if you agree! (Retweet-begging tweets, though, will still appear in the interactive at the top.)
  • Only tweets from the past seven days are eligible. Since we’ll publish the weekly rankings every Friday, that means any tweet sent in the seven days prior to when we hit the big red button at around 10 a.m. to cull all the data.

You’ll find this week’s takeaways at the bottom, but without any further ado:

1.) Donald Trump  (Last week: 4)


2.) Bernie Sanders (2)

3.) Mike Huckabee (6)

4.) Hillary Clinton (3)

5.) Ben Carson  (1)


6.) John Kasich (8)

7.) Ted Cruz (5)

8.) Jeb Bush (10)

9.) Marco Rubio (11)


10.) Bobby Jindal (12)

11.) Rand Paul (9)

12.) Rick Santorum (15)

13.) Martin O'Malley (13)


14.) George Pataki (14)

15.) Lindsey Graham (17)

16.) Carly Fiorina (7)

17.) Jim Webb (16)


18.) Lincoln Chafee (20)

19.) Lawrence Lessig (18)

20.) Chris Christie (19)

21.) Jim Gilmore (21)

Most Successful: Trump

Another week, another win for the blustery billionaire, this time in both the single tweet and overall RT categories. After eight weeks of tracking Trump’s Twitter-capades, there’s not much left to say about his ability to communicate in 140-character blasts at this point, but if you want to relive his live-tweeting of this week’s Democratic debate, my colleague Seth Stevenson has you covered.

Most Racist: Huckabee

To fully appreciate just how cringe-worthy Huckabee’s North Korea tweet was, you need to see it in the context of the tweet he sent out directly before it and the defense he offered later:

Most Talked About: Sanders

According to the number crunchers at Twitter HQ, Bernie was the most mentioned candidate during Tuesday’s debate, accounting for 41 percent of the conversations the company tracked. (That doesn’t mean he won the debate!) Hillary finished a close second at 39 percent, followed by Jim Webb at 9 percent, Martin O’Malley at 6 percent, and Lincoln Chafee at 5 percent. The top two conversation-driving exchanges, meanwhile, were Bernie dismissing Hillary's “damn emails" as a distraction, and Chafee going from long-shot to loser in the time it took to say “I had just arrived in the Senate

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in northeast Ohio.

Andrew Kahn is Slate’s assistant interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.