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Expand chart
Note: Kamala Harris tweets under both a private and a Senate account. Her total is combined; Data: CrowdTangle; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

A freshman congresswoman who has held office for less than a month is dominating the Democratic conversation on Twitter, generating more interactions — retweets plus likes — than the six most prolific news organizations combined over the last 30 days.

The big picture: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is miles behind President Trump in the influence of her Twitter account. But he's the president — she's a new member of Congress who shot out of a cannon following the midterm elections. And she has far more power on Twitter than the most prominent Democrats, including the congressional leaders and the likely 2020 presidential candidates.

Ben Thompson — founder of Stratechery, and one of the most pioneering online thinkers — points out that neither Ocasio-Cortez's "background nor her position as a first-time representative are ... noteworthy enough to be driving the national political conversation. And yet she is doing exactly that."

  • "In short, she is the first — but certainly not the last — of an entirely new archetype: a politician that is not only fueled by the Internet, but born of it."

Antonio García Martínez — author of "Chaos Monkeys," about Silicon Valley — wrote in Wired that she's "a harbinger of a new American political reality":

  • "[W]hen a 29-year-old former bartender of Puerto Rican descent beats a senior Democratic leader of the House, and then proceeds to set the political agenda during her first week in office, it’s more than a cute social media story."
  • "AOC is one answer to the bigger question of how social media impacts not just the portrayal of political power, but its seizure and exercise."

The main takeaways:

  • Among 2020 Democratic hopefuls, Sen. Kamala Harris (combining her Senate and personal accounts) had the highest Twitter engagement at 4.7 million interactions over the last 30 days — but that's still way behind Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Even former President Barack Obama was far behind Ocasio-Cortez, at 5.3 million interactions (but she's a lot more active on Twitter).
  • Other notable Democrats:
    • Bernie Sanders: 3.2m (combined Senate and personal account)
    • Nancy Pelosi: 2.5m
    • Chuck Schumer: 1.9m
    • Elizabeth Warren: 1.5m (combined Senate and personal account)
    • Beto O'Rourke: 1.5m
  • News organizations' metrics do not include numbers from their star journalists. CNN's Jim Acosta generated 2.2 million interactions, compared to the network's 3.3 million.
  • On the right, individual personalities out-index partisan news organizations. The biggest conservative megaphones — aside from the president — are Charlie Kirk (7.8 million interactions) and Donald Trump Jr. (2.4m)
  • The volume of tweets is an important variable to consider:
    • Trump: 9.1 tweets per day
    • Ocasio-Cortez: 7.2
    • Harris: 10.5
    • Obama: 0.4
    • CNN: 136

Two notes about the data: Not listed is Fox News, which has boycotted Twitter since November. These numbers do not account for Twitter activity from bots.

Note: This article was updated on Jan. 19 to reflect the most recent data.

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Go deeper

A city's catharsis

A view outside the Hennepin County Courthouse after yesterday's verdict. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Celebration and catharsis filled the streets of Minneapolis yesterday. After weeks on edge, many breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing Judge Peter Cahill read the sweep of guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin.

What they're saying: "George Floyd isn't coming back to life, but this is the justice we were looking for," Jaqui Howard, who joined the crowds outside the courthouse yesterday, told The Star Tribune.

What to expect from Derek Chauvin's sentencing

Screenshot via CNN

Derek Chauvin was whisked away to prison after after two weeks of testimony and about 10 hours of jury deliberations, but his sentencing will move much slower — about eight weeks.

What's next: There's still plenty of wrangling left over how much time the former Minneapolis cop will spend behind bars.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
58 mins ago - Health

The U.S. is approaching the vaccine hesitancy "tipping point"

Expand chart
Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. will probably run out of adults who are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated within the next two to four weeks, according to a KFF analysis published yesterday.

Between the lines: Vaccine hesitancy is rapidly approaching as our main impediment to herd immunity.