Nothing Succeeds Like Success. And the Opposite.
BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 19 2011
Here's a raw nugget of reportage that's been collecting dust on my desk. Perhaps you can make some additional sense of it:
Number of people following John Boehner on Twitter as of midnight EST election night, November 2nd: 55,821
Number of people following Boehner on Twitter on January 4th, the first full day of the new Congress: 74,967
Number of people following Boehner on Twitter today: 81,989
Number of people following Nancy Pelosi on Twitter as of midnight EST election night, November 2nd: 19,578
Number of people following Pelosi on Twitter on January 4th, the first full day of the new Congress: 32,219
Number of people following Pelosi today: 35,599
In other words, John Boehner picked up a fair number of Twitter followers since his caucus won back control of the House of Representatives. Expected enough, and of course we have to factor in the overall growth of the number of people on Twitter these days. But it turns out that Nancy Pelosi also gained a fair number of followers in that two month period, despite the fact that she kept her top slot in the Democratic caucus but pretty inarguably got a demotion overall. In fact, Pelosi gained more, percentage wise -- 39% to Boehner's 25%, though she was starting out with a smaller base. One factor may well be that there's just generally more interest in the intersection of Twitter and politics, but those increases still seem generous. There was also an intense amount of public interest in the lame-duck that saw the passage of several huge pieces of legislation. Anyway, there it is.
(And yes, we're talking about the leadership accounts of both members. The names changed with the election results, but each kept his or her followers, and you can find more about that here.)