Politicos and constituents alike can soon follow along with their favorite U.S. senators’ social media use in the form of a NCAA-style tournament bracket.
Over six weeks starting on Oct. 2, Trendpo, a DC-based social media analytics company, will begin measuring how 64 senators with the strongest social media presence use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
People can follow along and participate in the competition — the first in Trendpo’s quarterly “Congressional Bracketology” series — by downloading a bracket currently available from the site, filling one out online or even starting pools with friends.
The game, which runs for six weeks, will end on Nov. 6.
Trendpo’s previous research includes finding a correlation between social media buzz about a politician and election results. The House Republican Caucus is also using Trenpo’s Dashboard product to measure its members’ social media influence, J.D. Chang, Trendpo founder, told The Daily Caller.
All 100 senators were measured and ranked in mid-August based on social media presence and visibility in the news.
Their rank determined their seed on the bracket.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, a prominent U.S. politician who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1987, is the number one seed on the bracket for the West and East regions with 1.8 million Twitter followers.
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken, one of the leading pro-privacy voices in the Senate, currently holds the number one seed for the the Midwest and Southern regions.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, whose visibility as a tea party darling comes from speaking out on issues like immigration and Obamacare, holds the number two seed for the same region.
The 38 senators with the lowest news visibility and social media presence did not make the bracket.
Of lowest rank senators, the bottom 10, ranked from 90 – 100 were: North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, New Mexico Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich, Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, Idaho Republican Sen. Jim Risch, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and New Jersey Republican Sen. Jeff Chiesa.
Chang told the Daily Caller that a low rank did not necessarily indicate lack of knowledge about social media. Rank might be influenced by length of time served in office, and how new their social media accounts are as well.
“If you’ve been around for a lot longer, you’re going to have a lot more fans, and you’re going to have a lot more clout,” said Chang.
But much like other tournaments, seeds are not entirely indicative of the final round.
“We totally expect upsets to happen. I think that’s going to be a lot of the fun,” said Chang.