Hello and welcome to Slatest’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings. Above, you’ll find our handy interactive of the past 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 further ado:
1.) Bernie Sanders (Last week: 2)
When we stand together, we win. Thank you, New Hampshire! pic.twitter.com/dPV9qISkHO— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 10, 2016
2.) Donald Trump (1)
So far the Super Bowl is very boring - not nearly as exciting as politics - MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2016
3.) Hillary Clinton (3)
It’s not whether you get knocked down that matters, it’s whether you get back up.https://t.co/1iy497PIPp— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 10, 2016
4.) Jeb Bush (9)
.@realDonaldTrump, you aren’t just a loser, you are a liar and a whiner. John McCain is a hero. Over and out.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) February 8, 2016
5.) Ted Cruz (6)
6.) Marco Rubio (5)
Our disappointment tonight is not on you. It's on me. I did not do well on Saturday night. So listen to this, that will never happen again.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 10, 2016
7.) Ben Carson (4)
As the media discovers more facts surrounding Ted Cruz's campaign resorting to dirty tricks, even they are appalled.https://t.co/sOieTvJy8o— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) February 5, 2016
8.) John Kasich (10)
What a night! Thx to our incredible NH supporters! Time to trade our snow boots for flip flops. See you tmrw SC! https://t.co/dy8KnZ122T— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) February 10, 2016
9.) Jim Gilmore (7)
This is real. Please join me. Lower taxes, supporting the military and our vets, national security, and puppies! https://t.co/OzPLPFE8ke— Jim Gilmore (@gov_gilmore) February 7, 2016
Individual RT Winner: Bernie Sanders
This week belonged to Bernie, so it's fitting that he topped the single-tweet leaderboard with a celebratory message following his dominant victory in the New Hampshire primary. Sanders supporters did more than just click the RT button, they also opened up their wallets. According to his campaign, Bernie raised more than $6 million between when the polls closed Tuesday and 8 p.m. the following day, a new 24-hour-record for the campaign's undisputed small-dollar champion.
Overall RT Winner: Donald Trump
Trump topped the overall RT standings, as he almost always does. Like Sanders, he also notched a race-changing victory this week. Unlike Sanders, his social media fans were more interested in their man's trenchant sports commentary than in celebrating his New Hampshire win.
Accepting Defeat: Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio
Things couldn't have gone much worse in New Hampshire for either Clinton or Rubio. Hillary lost to Bernie by a whopping 22 points in a two-person Democratic race; Marco finished in a distant sixth in a crowded GOP field, 25 points behind Trump, a man running against the GOP establishment, and 5 points behind runner-up John Kasich, a man running toward it. Their responses—on Twitter, and at their primary night rallies—though, were near-opposites: Rubio admitted he needed to do better, while Clinton vowed to stay the course.
Final Words: Jim Gilmore
The former Virginia governor was still (technically) running for president as of our late-morning deadline for this week's rankings. Late Friday afternoon, though, news broke that he was calling it quits—which means his last appearance in our Twitter rankings will be about ... puppies. Here's the event he so desperately wanted his followers to know was "real":
Gilmore-mentum no more.