Hello and welcome to Week 11 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.
Without any further ado:
1.) Bernie Sanders (Last Week: 3)
If I'm "finished," I don't know what it says about Trump's situation when I'm 9pts ahead of him in the new NBC poll. https://t.co/V3aGX9KQW9— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 3, 2015
2.) Donald Trump (2)
Support Coach Kennedy and his right, together with his young players, to pray on the football field. Liberty Institute just suspended him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2015
3.) Hillary Clinton (1)
Whether you're a teacher, an executive, or a world-champion soccer player, you deserve equal pay. Red card, GOP. https://t.co/TWmzEETe7v— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 30, 2015
4.) Ben Carson (5)
The right to vote is something that should be greatly cherished -- a freedom that many have given their lives to protect. #ElectionDay— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) November 3, 2015
5.) Ted Cruz (6)
We have to stop pretending the Muslim Brotherhood are not responsible for the terrorism they advocate and finance: https://t.co/dXoY8d8voa— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 3, 2015
6.) Rand Paul (9)
7.) Carly Fiorina (11)
8.) Marco Rubio (4)
Learn about my plan for a new American Century in just two minutes. https://t.co/8I1z3UUwyx— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 2, 2015
9.) Mike Huckabee (13)
10.) Chris Christie (12)
11.) Jeb Bush (8)
Fred Thompson lived an amazing life, he will be sorely missed. Columba and my prayers are with Jeri and his his kids & grandkids— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 1, 2015
12.) Martin O'Mally (10)
Addiction is a public health crisis. Let’s treat it like one. pic.twitter.com/0N7YvCkWlR— Martin O'Malley (@MartinOMalley) November 1, 2015
13.) John Kasich (7)
Proud Ohioans voted no on Issue 3 and instead chose a path that helps strengthen our families and communities. -John— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) November 4, 2015
14.) George Pataki (14)
Fred Thompson was a wonderful man and tremendous public servant. Libby and I extend our deepest condolences to Jeri and the entire family.— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) November 2, 2015
15.) Rick Santorum (16)
Karen and I lost a good friend and America lost a great patriot with the passing of Fred Thompson. Our sympathy to Jeri and his family.— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) November 1, 2015
16.) Bobby Jindal (17)
If people want to live in America, they should come legally, learn English, roll up their sleeves and get to work. https://t.co/mZoAbwBceQ— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) November 5, 2015
17.) Jim Gilmore (19)
18.) Lindsey Graham (18)
Single RT Winner: Bernie Sanders
Sanders is much more likely to tweet about policy than polls, but this week he ran a play out of Donald Trump's but-the-polls playbook to use against the blustery billionaire—and it paid off, on Twitter at least. That's Bernie's fourth win in this category in the past 11 weeks.
Overall RT Winner: Donald Trump
That makes seven in a row in the overall rankings for the Donald. Unlike past weeks, Trump's single RT high was on the low side—he's topped the 7K-mark more weeks than he hasn't in our rankings—but once again the former-and-future reality TV star managed to outpace the field with his shear output. He posted a dozen tweets that each garnered more RTs than Hillary's top tweet this week.
Winning by Not Losing: Jim Gilmore
Twitter, like the rest of the 2016 campaign, has not been kind to Jim Gilmore. The former Virginia governor fails to register in most GOP polls, and he finished dead last in each and every one of our first 10 power rankings (including the week when he earned a single solitary retweet for his social media efforts). But not this time! Fittingly, the GOP also-ran's most successful tweet to date was about the fact that Twitter had (finally) bestowed on him the elusive official blue check mark that verifies he is indeed who he says he is. That won't earn him a spot on the debate stage, but if he's lucky, it might mean a few more people will notice when he live-tweets the events from his couch.