Well, there's an upside to scandal, as we learned when Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., was busted for cocaine: more Twitter followers. This week it was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who had that experience, as Bridge-gate became the talk of the Internet. The Republican gained 2,157 new Twitter followers last Thursday, the day he gave that long-winded press conference apologizing to New Jersey voters and traveled to Fort Lee, N.J., to seek forgiveness from the town's mayor.
Beyond Twitter, Christie had a spike in news mentions over the week as well, but that's to be expected as Bridge-gate dominated the political news cycle. TrendPo, a D.C.-based political analytics startup, looks at social media performance and news mentions to calculate rankings of politicians' online "buzz," though the rankings don't take into account positive or negative media coverage.
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Either way, it was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who had the best week online. The scandal-free Cruz topped TrendPo's ranking of 2016 hopefuls, besting all the Democrats and outperforming Christie.
"It's interesting to see that while TV and newspapers were all about Chris Christie, Ted Cruz still dominated with his steady, conservative message," TrendPo's J.D. Chang said. "TrendPo Rank balances both the standouts and the steady performers, showing Christie and Cruz neck and neck for the top spot."