August 20th, 2010
01:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Study: McCain is a social media 'genius'

McCain's 'genius' level digital IQ is is derived from a combination of metrics culled from his activity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, political blogs and his own congressional website.
McCain's 'genius' level digital IQ is is derived from a combination of metrics culled from his activity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, political blogs and his own congressional website.

(CNN) – At nearly 74 years old, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, might not be the first person to come to mind when you're asked to name a social media "genius." But according to a new joint study, he is just that–the U.S. senator most adept at using social media.

New York University professor Scott Galloway and George Washington University School of Business dean Doug Guthrie ranked all 100 U.S. senators based on what they call the lawmakers' "digital IQ." The score is derived from a combination of metrics culled from each senator's activity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, political blogs and their own congressional website.

Republican Sens. Jim DeMint and Scott Brown took a close second and third behind McCain, with Sen. Al Franken–the Senate's most social media-savvy Democrat–coming in at number four.

McCain's digital IQ of 156 was enough for researchers to classify him as a "genius." DeMint, Brown and Franken are also in the genius category, with IQs of 154, 152 and 143.

Republicans average 5.5 points higher than Democrats, according to the study. Their IQs also grew faster, as members of the GOP saw 6.7 percent month-over-month growth on Facebook versus just 3.6 percent for Democrats.

"President Obama pioneered the social media trail. However, Republicans are blazing it," the headline of the study's introduction says.

The analysis found that the 10 most conservative Republicans–according to their voting records–have a higher average digital IQ than the rest of their party, while the 14 most liberal Democrats lag behind their party.

"If social media is the temperature of the digital domain, it may be an especially cold fall for Democrats," the study's authors write in the report.

The non-partisan think tank L2 released the report, "Digital IQ Index: U.S. Senate" on Thursday.


Filed under: John McCcain • Popular Posts • Senate • Social Media • Social Networking
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Larry

    He is also a political genius, as he demonstrated when he selected the Wasilla Imbecilla as his running-mate.

    August 20, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Delaware Girl

    Are you sure that McCain is the one actually using these tools. I highly doubt that. I would be inclined to think he has young savvy staffers who are doing this under his name.

    August 20, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Shirley in California

    Thanks CNN. I needed a laugh to start off my weekend. The only thing this man is a genius at – is picking women with no morals or standards but thanks anyway.

    August 20, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Aggie, Parkville, MO

    You've got to be kidding.

    August 20, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. E. Coli-Tainted Palin Word Salad Consumed By Media

    Yep, this guy really showed his "genius" streak when he chose Failin', Bailin', Quittin' Palin as his running mate.

    August 20, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. PAPilot

    Hah, anyone who thinks politicians are actually the ones posting on Facebook is sadly mistaken. All of these politicians hire 20-something grads of liberal arts schools to manage their facebook pages for them.

    August 20, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. HDA

    Just goes to show, polls are as reliable as a leaky umbrella! Get real! McCain the most savvy? O woe is us.

    August 20, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    What a waste of time.

    August 20, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Fred Rutherford

    And you think McCain does this all by himself :)

    August 20, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Dave

    A digital genius yet that sad sack picked Palin?

    August 20, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Jilli

    I would NEVER apply the term "genius" to McCain in any fashion, it's just not applicable. Archaic, neanderthalic, principleless, convictionless, spineless – those apply – genuis. Nope, can't buy it.

    August 20, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Von Bismark-Vienna

    Does this make less eratic?

    August 20, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Jerry - Florida

    Too bad he did not win the presidential election. We would not be going over the cliff as we are under the dumb/clueless NObama administration. And most of all, he says what he means and means what he says.

    He would not be a Liar-in-Chief or a Bully-in-Chief.

    Can NObama claim the same? If he did, he would be lying, once AGAIN!

    Yes, I AM a life-long Democrat.

    August 20, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    If social media is the true test of a genius, my 3 year old grandson is just as smart as McCain.
    TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS TERM LIMITS

    August 20, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Joshua Ludd

    Too bad the Bush administration proved how low an IQ Republicans have for actually governing the nation... not simply blogging and twaddling.. sorry.. I mean twittering.

    August 20, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Juni

    This must be some new definition of "genius" that I'm not aware of, one which gives IQ points for ignorance and backwards thought.

    August 20, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. DenInNooYawk

    Being an active Twitterer and having as a running mate a complete Twit are different, yes?

    August 20, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. Clint, Wa.

    I'll bet ya it was a GOP poll.

    August 20, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. saftgek

    Stop the world – I want to get off!

    John McCain as a "geniue" anything? What in the world is going on? This stumbling, bumbling, personality-less entity is about as far from "genius" as one could be.

    Why would anyone author such an article? Is there so much blank space on the web to be filled? How about a larger font, instead!

    August 20, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. me

    Let's be accurate - McCain employs the most technical savvy staff. This is a man who said he didn't know how to use a computer just 2 yrs ago.

    August 20, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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