AUSTIN (Nexstar) - With Facebook data in the spotlight, the team at the Texas Politics Project wondered how members of the Texas Legislature use social media.
The initial research, led by director Jim Henson, Joshua Blank and University of Texas at Austin advanced graduate student Lindsay Dun, was released this week.
The data looked at Facebook usage of Texas legislators and first found that 141 out of 150 House members use the social media service, while 28 of 31 Senators use it. The usage was defined by posts from pages where the lawmakers identified themselves as a "politician" or "public official" during the 85th Legislature.
"What we see is that even though Democrats post more, Republicans on average get more responses, in our very first pass measure of Facebook likes," Henson said.
In the House, Democrats averaged 129 posts each, and House Republicans averaged 93 posts each. Senate Democrats averaged 171 posts, compared to only 108 posts for Republicans in the upper chamber during the 2017 regular and special sessions, the data revealed.
The top Senate users in each party were senators José Menéndez, D-San Antonio and Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway. The top House users in each party were Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, and Rep. James White, R-Hillister.
The research also indicated Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, and Brenham Republican Sen. Lois Kolkhorst got the most likes per post. Stickland had more than 600 and Kolkhorst topped in at around 350. The Texas Politics Project team said it would likely follow up to delve deeper into the numbers and try to work out whether those numbers are an indication of fanbase loyalty, active followers or another result.
To find out where your local lawmakers ranked, click here.
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