McCain now over 1.7 million Twitter followers

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) notified his Twitter users Tuesday that he crossed the 1.7 million follower threshold.

McCain took to Twitter a day after the account of his 2008 presidential election opponent, President Barack Obama, announced it had crossed over the 3 million follower mark:

Over 1.7 million followers!! Thanks everyone - keep tweeting!

The former GOP nominee has a long way to go if he wants to avenge his loss last year by gaining more followers than Obama.

McCain is the second-most followed sitting politician on Twitter and the 49th most followed Twitter user overall according to TwitterCounter, a widely used Twitter metrics site.

By comparison, the president's account -- which is maintained by the Democratic National Committee -- is the most popular politician on Twitter and has the fourth-most followed account overall.

TwitterCounter shows McCain likely surpassed 1.7 million followers between Saturday and Sunday, the same time frame in which Obama hit 3 million.

McCain tweets about his stances on political issues as well as his family and his favorite Arizona sports teams.

The senator tweeted from Iraq today while on a congressional delegation visit.