By Becky Hogan
YouTube has close to one billion unique viewers each month—making it a great way for politicians to reach constituents via video.
Not only is the video-sharing site a way for politicians to extend the news cycle and share video clips of press appearances and interviews, it’s also a means to reach followers in just seconds with the click of a button, before sharing views with the media.
Of course, it’s also widely used to disseminate campaign ads during elections in the hope that they will go viral.
And with YouTube moving to become a news platform with its live streaming feature, it’s becoming even more relevant to politics. In April, YouTube announced that it would give live streaming capabilities to all US Congress members after thousands tuned in to YouTube to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address and the corresponding Republican response this February.
We took a look at our data to see which U.S. politicians have the most subscribed-to YouTube channels.
It’s an interesting mix on both Democrats and Republicans, mostly from the House or Senate. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the only governor to make our list. President Obama has 16 times the subscribers that Senator Rand Paul.
How are these lawmakers YouTube-ing most recently?
Representative Chris Van Hollen became a YouTube hit during the government shutdown for a video he posted called “The GOP’s little rule change they hoped you wouldn’t notice” which calls attention to the House of Representatives’ rules regarding a bill to avoid the government shutdown. This flew under the radar for nearly two weeks until Van Hollen posted his video. The video has since surpassed 3.4 million views.
Last week, President Obama tried to rev up his political supporters by sending a YouTube video to members of his political arm, Organizing for Action, to ask for help in registering people for health insurance. Monday, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal endorsed Governor Christie via YouTube just days before his election against Barbara Buono. Senator Warren’s remarks on the government shutdown a few weeks ago have received over 1.4 million views. And Ted Cruz has already posted 6 videos to his channel within the past week … all of them are about Obamacare.