Hello and welcome to Week 14 of the Slatest’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings. (We took last week off for Thanksgiving.) 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: 2)
Mass shootings are becoming an almost-everyday occurrence in this country. This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 2, 2015
2.) Hillary Clinton (3)
I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now. -H https://t.co/SkKglwQycb— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 2, 2015
3.) Donald Trump (1)
California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2015
4.) Martin O'Malley (12)
5.) Ted Cruz (5)
Yesterday's horrific murder in the wake of Paris underscores we're at a time of war whether or not the current Admin realizes it #RJCForum— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 3, 2015
6.) Ben Carson (4)
My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino.— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) December 2, 2015
7.) Rand Paul (10)
8.) Jeb Bush (9)
Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 2, 2015
9.) Marco Rubio (6)
10.) George Pataki (8)
Praying for the victims and first responders in #SanBernardino for a quick resolution.— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) December 2, 2015
11.) Mike Huckabee (11)
12.) John Kasich (15)
13.) Chris Christie (13)
14.) Carly Fiorina (7)
15.) Rick Santorum (14)
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their loved ones and all those impacted by today's tragedy in California #SanBernadino— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) December 3, 2015
16.) Lindsey Graham (16)
17.) Jim Gilmore (17)
Tonight my campaign ad "Trust" will air on NBC in early primary states - https://t.co/ghAE10useX— Jim Gilmore (@gov_gilmore) November 27, 2015
Single RT Winner: Bernie Sanders
The mass shooting in San Bernardino dominated the political conversation this week and—much like the myriad mass shootings that came before it—divided the field in predictable ways. Democrats called for gun control; Republicans offered their thoughts and prayers (before later finding much more to talk about once authorities began to treat the shooting as a possible act of terrorism). Bernie's tweet proved the most popular, though Martin O'Malley and Hillary Cinton—who were both slightly quicker to weigh in than Sanders—were also rewarded with a cavalcade of retweets.
Overall RT Winner: Donald Trump
That's ten in a row in this category for the Twitter troll in a $5,000 Brioni suit.
Loser: Intelligent political debate about the dangers posed by climate change.