Apr 10, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Charted: Congress' least online lawmakers

Data: Quorum; Chart: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is Congress' least prolific tweeter, sending just one tweet in the 118th Congress as of April 5, according to data provided to Axios by Quorum.

Why it matters: Some members of Congress see Twitter as a nuisance at best — and a corrosive threat to national discourse at worst. That's in contrast with the many lawmakers who have embraced social media as a potent political messaging tool — with Twitter enjoying singular status on Capitol Hill.

What they're saying: "After years on social media, I ultimately came to the decision that Twitter in particular has become so toxic that it is a danger to our political discourse," Blumenauer told Axios in a statement.

  • "We are facing many challenges in this country. We must figure out how to bring people together, not create division," he said.
  • "I do not judge any member who stays on Twitter, but have decided to focus on other forms of communication to reach constituents and engage in meaningful discourse about the issues that lay ahead."

The tweet: A reply on Jan. 6 thanking a constituent who sent Bluemenauer a box of bundt cakes after performing a Twitter "wellness check": "how are you holding up, sir[?] can I Postmates you some Starbucks or something[?]"

Reality check: The chart covers only official Twitter accounts — as opposed to personal and campaign accounts — and thus has some blind spots.

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), one of the most prolific and candid tweeters in the Senate, told Axios he is partial to his personal account.
  • Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) is better known for his lengthy Instagram captions.

What caught our eye: Although the Republicans on the list are mostly lesser-known, safe-seat members — with the notable exception of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — many of the Democrats hold some of the most hotly contested swing seats in the country.

  • They include Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), as well as Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).
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