Two Florida lawmakers among most active congressional Tweeters

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Twitter has quickly become the go-to place for Congress, where every Senator and almost every House member use the social media platform to connect with voters and promote their views.

In an overview of online habits on Capitol Hill, Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post learned (among other things) that two of Florida’s lawmakers are some of the most socially active on Twitter.

Ingraham analyzed key Twitter stats of every member of Congress, such as followers, number of tweets and who is following them. His results are both fascinating and somewhat counterintuitive.

Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats are with the average GOP House member having 6,872 Twitter followers, while the median for Democrats has 6,015. That is a variation of almost 13 percent.

In Republican Senators, there is an even wider edge — 23,252 followers compared to 19,429 for Democrats, nearly 18 percent difference.

In light of Democrats traditionally holding a technological superiority over Republicans in many areas, these gaps are more than a bit surprising. Add to that the fact that young adults and African-Americans — two key Democratic demographics — are embracing Twitter faster than any other group and it could spell trouble in the fall.

When counting Twitter followers, the leader (by far) is Arizona Sen. John McCain, with 1.9 million fans, more than 400,000 more than No. 2 Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who has 1.46 million. Republican House Speaker John Boehner leads his chamber with almost 640,000 Twitter followers.

As for Floridians, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz are in the top ten for their groups — Republican Rubio at No. 4 in the Senate with over 595,000 followers, and Wasserman Schultz at 255,465, putting the Democrat also at No. 4 in the House.

Ingraham also found that Republicans make up seven of the 10 of the most frequent tweeters.

Democrat Booker leads with 38,000 tweets, more than twice the amount for the next most-frequent tweeter, California’s Rep. Darrell Issa. However, Republicans lead overall. Boehner, Sen. John Cornyn from Texas and another Floridian – Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — are in the top five.

Wasserman Schultz has sent out more than 5,100 tweets, more than three times Rubio, with only 1,656 tweets.

Although every single Senator has a Twitter account, only eight House members do not use Twitter — four Democrats and four Republicans, including Rep. John Mica of Florida.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.