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Winners: Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Losers: Rand Paul (R-KY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), Harry Reid (D-NV)
This was a rough week for Senate Democrats. Senators Klobuchar, Gillibrand, and Reid were all knocked out – the only non-republican remaining is Democrat-allied independent Bernie Sanders. That’s not to say Democrats haven’t been active on YouTube – but the launch of Healthcare.gov created an opportunity for some high-volume for conservative critics. All four matchups this week had something interesting about them.
Ted Cruz vs Rand Paul
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul both had popular videos this week, ranking first and second respectively. The differentiating factor is how each of them used YouTube; while Senator Paul’s videos were primarily television appearances, Senator Cruz created original content in an easily sharable 30-second video. While both Cruz and Paul have been incredibly effective at using YouTube, Cruz’s prominence in the fight over Obamacare combined with his savvy in producing original content nudged him over into the final four.
Mike Lee vs Harry Reid
Despite being the Majority Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid has not uploaded a video to YouTube in over 3 weeks. Against Mike Lee, who has been active on YouTube and in the anti-Obamacare fight, that just doesn’t cut it. Senator Reid is not weak on social media by any means, but Senator Lee’s popularity has been enhanced by his association with Ted Cruz. The finals have a very real chance of being a Ted Cruz – Mike Lee showdown.
Bernie Sanders vs Kristen Gillibrand
Bernie Sanders is without a doubt the most effective social media user among the Democrats. Although both have the same kind of videos up, Sanders’ audience is big enough that he is able to stay in the top four. Although no slouch on social media, Gillibrand’s videos were never able to get the same kind of traction.
Rob Portman vs Amy Klobuchar
This one wasn’t much of a competition. Although she’s active on Twitter and Facebook, Senator Klobuchar hasn’t updated her YouTube page in over a year. Senator Portman also has a weak YouTube presence, but has been consistently uploading videos as Senator.
The final four have proven they have what it takes to survive Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube only rounds – we’ll see who has the strongest social media presence in the second all social media round next week.