Study: GOP senators beating Dems on social media

The ratings give equal weight to the number of followers a Senator has on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, along with the rate of growth and their amount of engagement (the number of tweets, videos uploaded/downloaded and "Likes" on Facebook). The number of times a Senator is mentioned on blogs and traffic to their websites were also factored in.

“This study underscores the reality that social media is not a toy, and that digital literacy and agility are powerful tools in today’s business and political arenas,” said Guthrie. “It appears that U.S. senators are making their comprehension of the social media realm a priority and are using it as a way to engage prospective voters and mobilize grassroots efforts.”

On average, Republicans boast a digital IG that is 5.5 points higher than their Democratic counterparts. Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainUS sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years McCain: ‘All of us share responsibility’ for government shutdown GOP strategist: Shutdown is on Trump and GOP MORE (R-Ariz.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) top the rankings, followed by Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBooker is latest Dem to seize spotlight The Trump Presidency: Year One Lawmakers unveil landmark overhaul of sexual harassment policies MORE (D-Minn.) and John Conryn (R-Texas). The lowest scores went to Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedWHIP LIST: Shutdown looms as Senate lacks votes to pass House spending bill Senators press Trump to boost school funding in infrastructure package Lawmakers, political figures share their New Year's resolutions for 2018 MORE (D-R.I.) and Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranTrump's chief agricultural negotiator will fight for American farmers Rep. Cummings hospitalized, wife suspends gubernatorial campaign Medical cannabis community must join together and resist any action taken against us MORE (R-Miss.).

Senators up for reelection generally lead on every platform, highlighting how campaigns are the most effective means for driving visitors to candidates' social-media offerings. The Republicans' higher scores are a result of their more active participation on Twitter and YouTube, while Democrats retain a five percent advantage on Facebook and see more Web traffic to their sites.

The report also notes that some Republican Senate candidates, such as Carly Fiorina in California and Sharron Angle in Nevada, have huge bases of online support, making it possible the GOP will extend its digital advantage after the midterm elections. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.), Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Billionaire Steyer to push for Dem House push Billionaire Steyer announces million for Dem House push MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) are the only Democrats up for reelection this year that enjoy large followings online.