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

Study: McCain is a social media 'genius'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. BarrryinPA

    If McCain is such a social networking genius......why does he keep tweeting about Snooki?

    August 20, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Eddie B

    Trust when you say "online" to McCain, he thinks you are talking about a clothes line. He knows nothing about social media and his staff handles all of that.

    August 20, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. dick delson

    He will best be remembered as the man who gave us Sarah Palin...and that says it all.

    August 20, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Alex

    Because that makes him a better person... yay.

    August 20, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Steven

    It means the Republicans are spending a lot more money and inviting more interns and volunteers to send out the status messages. I seriously doubt McCain is online going "ZOMGZ teh Ob(s)ama is wrong 4 'merica". I do believe Palin is doing all her own stuff though cos that stuff is coming straight form an r-tard.

    August 20, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. ann

    Genius is NOT a word that comes to mind when I think of this grumpy old man who is responsible for unleashing Caribou Barbie Palin.........UGH!

    August 20, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. scot

    this is just begging for a witty comment....but I forgot, Republicans are uneducated and not intellectual so I'll just keep it to myself....let the myth perpetuate itself

    August 20, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. ja

    uuh what'd u say

    August 20, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. thedizzle

    At least John McCain learned something from Ron Paul.

    August 20, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. emma

    Who cares?

    August 20, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. diridi

    This old coot does not know how to use internet....okay....just ignore....this coot...

    August 20, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Glenis Jenkins

    Ironic since he claimed to not use technology during the Presidential election... Must have hired some kids to help him out.....

    August 20, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    That's amazing – in only two years, McCain has gone from trying to use his TV remote to turn his "computing-machine" on, to being on the cutting edge of technology & communications. Kudos to the Senator from AZ! We clearly should've elected him and Alaska Barbie, right? His acumen and genius-osity has shone thru.

    August 20, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Marnie

    Well, thank you "genius" for foisting Sarah Palin on us.

    August 20, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    ......and if volume of Tweets were an indication of genius (as it appears they measured activity by), then Sarah Palin is Albert Einstein.

    It's QUALITY, not quantity, folks.

    August 20, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. HTML5 Magazine

    A survey/study that means absolutely nothing to men and women looking for work as the senators tweet with other DC twits.
    Amazing that a college would pay for such a study when students are facing record increases in the cost attending those schools.

    I have a question, which one of the DC genius crowd has a solution to US homelessness, high co9st of education and a job market that makes the great depression look like the good old days?

    August 20, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. aunt Bea and Opie

    Poor John,lets give credit where credit is due.John cant even call home on his phone,we all know,turd blossom, Carl Rove is still running the rightwing media machine.

    August 20, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. geecee

    Wow, I'm impressed. At least he's good at something! What else has he done during his recent term to earn re-election? I cannot think of a single accomplishment this over-the-hill pol has done recently. I don't think I can ever forgive him for giving us Palin. What a blight on this Country that dimwit is. She just won't just shut up and go away!

    August 20, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Independent

    Of course, it was just referring to his score at FarmVille.

    August 20, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. Lisa, Miami

    Oh, yes,

    and I'm the queen of England.

    blah blah........

    August 20, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |

    Does this now mean that Sarah Palin is now going to be considered a "genius"? She is far from it!

    August 20, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. nikki

    how is this a surprise? Of course he has the most extensive social networking web- a remnant of a developed presidential campaign in the digital age. he had all sorts of people working on his campaign and inserting him into social networking sites.

    August 20, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. AJ

    McCain is anything but a genius...

    August 20, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Hall for President

    When did you all make this up? John McCain do not have an I Q.

    August 20, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. blindbear

    Let's see. Social media IQ of 156. Vetting_Ability_IQ of zero. Average IQ of 78. Does that mean that McCain can blame Sarah Palin for making him a moron? Why not? She's made idiots of the entire Republican Party.

    August 20, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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