Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
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.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.