Jim Gilmore gets verified, doesn't lose Twitter power rankings.

Guess Which Candidate Finally Got Verified by Twitter This Week? OK, Fine, It Was Jim Gilmore.

Guess Which Candidate Finally Got Verified by Twitter This Week? OK, Fine, It Was Jim Gilmore.

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The Slatest
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Nov. 6 2015 3:11 PM

This Week’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings

Jim Gilmore addresses a rally against the Iran nuclear deal on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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

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)


2.) Donald Trump (2)

3.) Hillary Clinton (1)

4.) Ben Carson (5)

5.) Ted Cruz (6)


6.) Rand Paul (9)

7.) Carly Fiorina (11)

8.) Marco Rubio (4)

9.) Mike Huckabee (13)


10.) Chris Christie (12)

11.) Jeb Bush (8)

12.) Martin O'Mally (10)

13.) John Kasich (7)


14.) George Pataki (14)

15.) Rick Santorum (16)

16.) Bobby Jindal (17)

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.

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

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