This Week’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings

Random User Offers Perfect Rejoinder to Christie's Obama-Bashing Tweet

Random User Offers Perfect Rejoinder to Christie's Obama-Bashing Tweet

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Dec. 18 2015 4:16 PM

This Week’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings

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President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie upon arriving in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on October 31, 2012 to visit areas hardest hit by the unprecedented cyclone Sandy.

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/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 16 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.

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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: 1)

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2.) Donald Trump (2)

3.) Hillary Clinton (3)  

4.) Ben Carson (10)

5.) Marco Rubio (7)

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6.) Ted Cruz (13)

7.) Jeb Bush (5)

8.) Martin O'Malley (4)

9.) Rand Paul (7)

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10.) Rick Santorum (14)

11.) George Pataki (6)

12.) Carly Fiorina (11)

13.) Mike Huckabee (16)

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14.) Chris Christie (15)

15.) John Kasich (12)

16.) Lindsey Graham (16)

17.) Jim Gilmore (17)

Single RT Winner: Bernie Sanders

The good news for Bernie is that he was able to capitalize on Trump's disgustingly xenophobic and dangerously short-sighted plan for the second week in the row to grab a victory in the single RT category. The bad news? The Trumpification of the national security debate has sucked all the oxygen out of the room and left Sanders' always-on-message campaign gasping for air on the trail.

Overall RT: Winner: Donald Trump

That's 12 in a row in this category for Trump, who routinely accounts for about half of the total RTs garnered by the entire field in a given week. In the 13 weeks we've been tracking an overall winner, Trump's fallen from the top spot only once (when #DebateWithBernie stole the social media spotlight).

Best Response from a Random Account: This one, which was the very first reply to Christie's tweet calling Obama a "feckless weakling."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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