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 McCainCanada responds to transgender ban: All are welcome to join Canadian forces Dems don’t want to help GOP improve repeal bill GOP senator: Trump transgender ban ‘deserves more than a Twitter conversation’ MORE (R-Ariz.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) top the rankings, followed by Al FrankenAl FrankenOPINION | Democrats: Time to wish Hillary Clinton good luck and goodbye Franken: ‘Constitutional crisis’ if Trump uses recess appointment to replace Sessions with someone who’ll fire Mueller AT&T discussing merger conditions with DOJ: report MORE (D-Minn.) and John Conryn (R-Texas). The lowest scores went to Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Jack ReedJack ReedCollins apologizes for calling GOP rep 'so unattractive' on hot mic Overnight Finance: House votes to repeal arbitration rule | Yellen, Cohn on Trump's list for Fed chief | House passes Russia sanctions deal | GOP centrists push back on border wall funding Senate panel rejects Trump’s effort to slash transportation funding MORE (D-R.I.) and Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda Senate committee ignores Trump, House budgets in favor of 2017 funding levels Overnight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | 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 ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE (D-Nev.), Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE (D-Calif.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) are the only Democrats up for reelection this year that enjoy large followings online.