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Winners: Mike Lee (R-UT), Harry Reid (D-NV), Rob Portman (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY)
Losers: John McCain (R-AZ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX)
We’re down to the elite 8, and we’re surprisingly split down the middle: exactly 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats (technically 3 democrats and one Democrat-caucusing Independent). This was a week of upsets, including our number 1 seed getting knocked out. Once again, Ted Cruz crushed the competition – the only Senator with a similar Twitter presence this week was Mike Lee, Cruz’s close ally. Here’s our favorite matchups of the week:
John McCain vs Mike Lee: Mike Lee has 78,329 followers. John McCain has 1,844,219. Yet despite having over a million more followers, John McCain didn’t have much engagement from other Twitter users. On the other hand, Senator Lee is coming off his prominent role in the government shutdown. His engaged followers retweeted him over 13,000 times this week – Senator McCain had a little over 800 in the same period. This is likely because Senator McCain’s followers mostly date back to his 2008 campaign, while Mike Lee gained most of his in the past few months. Lee’s more recent followers are engaged and energized, frequently retweeting and replying to his tweets. The lesson? Just having a lot of followers doesn’t mean much if they are not engaged.
Al Franken vs Rob Portman: This was the closest matchup of the week, and it came down to volume: Al Franken only tweeted twice this week, compared to 10 from Rob Portman. Although both of Senator Franken’s tweets got more attention than any of Senator Portman’s, the sheer difference in volume allowed Portman to squeeze ahead. This makes Portman the last Republican in the Midwest, up against the higher seeded Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Portman already squeaked past one of the Minnesota Senators – can he beat the other?
Elizabeth Warren vs Kristen Gillibrand
Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand are arguably the two most prominent women Senators in the Northeast. Warren was ranked much higher than Gillibrand in the Facebook round, and seemed like the favorite going in. However, Gillibrand’s more active Twitter presence contrasted sharply with Warren’s, allowing her to win the round and move on to the final.
Next week is the YouTube round, where there is huge variation between politicians. The elite 8 have made it through 3 rounds already – will any of them totally flounder with YouTube activity? Will anybody have a video go viral, launching them into first place. Find out after another week of Senate Sweeps!