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The Sweet 16: Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Harry Reid (D-NV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tim Scott (R-SC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John McCain (R-AZ), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Al Franken (D-MN), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
The government shutdown continued straight through round two of Senate Sweeps, boosting some Senators and leaving others in the dust. Ted Cruz stayed at #1 for the second week in a row – but Bernie Sanders is closing in on him. John McCain showed that he doesn’t put too much stock in Facebook: he only ranked 15th this week, despite being very prominent in the shutdown fight. Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the week.
Roy Blunt edges out Sherrod Brown
Senator Blunt(rank 18) squeaked past Senator Brown(rank 19) this week in a surprise upset – the closest of this round. Senator Blunt’s open distaste for the government shutdown caught on with the media, driving attention to his Facebook page. Senator Brown’s decision to donate his pay to charity for the duration of the shutdown caught media attention, but not enough to overcome the traffic of a Republican bucking his party.
Sanders Nearly Catches Up to Cruz
Ted Cruz’s de-facto role as leader of the tea party faction in the shutdown rocketed him to first place in the wake of the shutdown. He’s still in first, but Senator Bernie Sanders is closing in – the difference in their raw score this week is a mere 2%. Sanders has emerged as one of the most prolific voices in favor of ending the shutdown, and his already impressive social media presence amplifies his effect. Will one of the most conservative senators face one of the most liberal in the final four?
There are no more Democrats competing in the South – or Republicans in the East
Ben Nelson, the only Southern Democrat in the completion, was knocked out in the first round. Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania was the only Republican to make it into Round Two in the east, and was knocked out by Bernie Sanders. No matter what happens, there will be an interparty competition in the final four. Both the Midwest and the West still have a 50/50 split on Democrats and Republicans – maybe a hint that there’s more political diversity outside of the deep red South and the deep blue East.
With the end of the government shutdown potentially in sight, next week’s Twitter round is up in the air. Will the fallout dominate the Twittersphere, or will a new issue pop up and change the game? Keep an eye on the TrendPo blog for new updates and analysis.