John McCain may be in the political battle of his life to save his Senate seat in Arizona — but he’s a Twitter genius, according to a new report released Thursday.
In a joint study conducted by George Washington and New York universities, the 73-year old Republican was found to have the highest “Digital IQ” in the Senate, what the researchers are dubbing as the “definitive benchmark for online competence.”
The Digital IQ index combined senators’ use of social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with the frequency with which members posted as well as their followings.
But it’s not just McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, who’s the GOP standard-bearer for social media. In a social media game mastered by the campaign of Barack Obama, the study found Republicans have “struck back,” with GOP senators averaging more than 5.5 IQ points higher than their Democratic counterparts.
Of the seven senators who scored “genius” social media rankings, four were Republicans: McCain — the top tweeter, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and John Cornyn of Texas.
DeMint is a tea party force, and Brown rode significant grassroots tea party support to upset Martha Coakley for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat last winter. Cornyn is the head of the Senate GOP campaign organization.
“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 George Washington University School of Business Dean Doug 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.” (Continues here)