Jim Gilmore's final entry in the 2016 Twitter Power Rankings.

Goodbye, Jim Gilmore

Goodbye, Jim Gilmore

The Slatest has moved! You can find new stories here.
The Slatest
Your News Companion
Feb. 12 2016 4:45 PM

This Week’s 2016 Twitter Power Rankings

Jim Gilmore is seen on a TV screen as he participates in the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

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

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)


2.) Donald Trump (1)

3.) Hillary Clinton (3)

4.)  Jeb Bush (9)

5.) Ted Cruz (6)


6.) Marco Rubio (5)

7.) Ben Carson (4)

8.) John Kasich (10)

9.) Jim Gilmore (7)


Dropped Out: Carly Fiorina (8) and Chris Christie (11)

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.

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

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