Ranked: The Most Influential Republicans on Twitter Politics

By Gemma Joyce on September 13th 2016

The fight for the White House has been a vicious one so far, and there are few places the battle has been played more emotively than on social media.

From Trump’s brash manner to Clinton’s sassier approach, the pair have pulled no punches online and have continually interrupted each other on Twitter.

Candidate chatter aside, one of the most dramatic parts of this election has been in-fighting within parties. The Democratic convention saw widespread protest as disillusioned Sanders supporters caused disruption. Meanwhile, the Republican party has been split by divisive candidate Donald Trump with several high profile Republicans condemning his campaign.

With cracks appearing in both parties, the Brandwatch React team decided to take a look at the most influential people within political conversations online, focusing this week on the Republicans, finding that there’s a wide breadth of opinion making big waves in the Twitter debate.


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Methodology

The Brandwatch React team used Audiences to search for Twitter handles that self-identified as Republican or conservative who had tweeted election-related terms in the last three months. For example, an account that included “tcot” or “GOP” in their bio who had tweeted the word “election” recently would be included in the wider list. We did not search for terms relating to individual candidates so the list is not disproportionately made up of Trump supporters.

Based on these accounts’ interactions with others (the more influential the better), they were each assigned an influence score. In this article, we’ll list the top 20 most influential Republicans on Twitter.

Follower counts and account names were correct at the time of writing.

The top ten

The interesting thing about this list is that it’s not necessarily the political heavyweights that are topping the charts. By looking at non-candidate specific mentions in bios and tweets and simply looking for allegiance to the GOP or conservatism, we found a number of really influential characters who might not all be mainstream media icons but are influential in online circles instead.

The top five accounts we found give a good idea of the breadth of different accounts in our dataset – an organization, a politician, a media professional, a Trump supporter and a Trump hater.

1. AppSame

@AppSame is a “Conservative Political Marketing Firm helping to bring America back to its greatness” and boasts 1.11m followers. 

The account is deeply involved in political conversations as a brief scroll down their timeline will demonstrate.

2. Sarah Palin

You might not be surprised to see Sarah Palin on the list. She’s a prolific Twitter user with 1.28 million followers.

She tweets stories of patriotism and inspiration as well as news articles relating to the Presidential race.

3. I’m Chuck, Dude! :)

Dude! Chuck tweets about cars and religious messages. He’s also not a fan of Trump.

4. Michelle Malkin

As senior editor of the Conservative Review, Malkin is an expected addition to the list. She generates some serious engagement with her tweets.

5. CC

@ChristiChat has an impressive number of followers and is a big supporter of #TrumpPence2016. Her poetry is impeccable.

Carly Fiorina is listed in the top ten as well as the official GOP account. The fact that they’re listed alongside much less widely known individuals gives a sense of the power of lesser-known personalities on Twitter to make a splash in the political conversation.

top-10-influential-republicans-new-bitly

The full list

You’ve had the top five and top ten – now here’s the top 20.

You’ll notice how close together influence scores are; there’s really not much between many of the accounts.

Name Twitter handle Followers Influence score
AppSame @AppSame 1.11m 88
Sarah Palin @SarahPalinUSA 1.28m 86
I’m Chuck, Dude! :) @ChuckNellis 111k 86
Michelle Malkin @michellemalkin 1.44m 85
CC @ChristiChat 163k 85
Deplorable Carmine Z @CarmineZozzora 160k 85
Pray Always! @erotao 102k 84
GOP @GOP 800k 83
Dr. Marty Fox @DrMartyFox 106k 83
Carly Fiorina @CarlyFiorina 697k 82
Max Emfinger Patriot @EmfingerSScout 682k 82
Anna Maria Perez @A_M_Perez 110k 82
Lori Hendry @Lrihendry 96.1k 82
(((Lady Patriot))) @marylene58 43.5k 82
Reince Priebus @Reince 477k 81
House Republicans @HouseGOP 318k 81
Meghan McCain @MeghanMcCain 275k 81
Judy Stines Ex-GOP @jstines3 99.1k 81
Daniel Hannan @DanielJHannan 90.9k 81
Rick Wilson @TheRickWilson 70.1k 80

 

In the world of Twitter, it’s possible for anyone to have an influence over the political debate of the day.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us react@brandwatch.com for more information


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Gemma Joyce

@GLJoyce

Gemma is the social data journalist heading up Brandwatch React. As well as being first with the current affairs data, Gemma loves pizza, politics, and long reads. Her work has been featured in publications like Financial Times, Wired, Business Insider, and PR Week