WASHINGTON (CBS) – A new analysis by the Pew Research Center finds that “highly ideological” members of Congress attract more Facebook followers, and two New England senators lead the way.
Pew looked at the voting records and Facebook follower counts for members of Congress and found that the most liberal and conservative senators and representatives had more followers than their moderate colleagues.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2016 presidential candidate, has more than 7 million Facebook followers. Warren has over 3 million.
In the House, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who led the Select Committee On Benghazi, had the most Facebook followers at 1.3 million.
The next tier of lawmakers with large followings include Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Al Franken.
Pew says Facebook posts shared by very liberal or very conservative lawmakers are more likely to express “indignation or disagreement,” and those drew higher engagement. Past studies have also shown that the media devotes more coverage to politicians who are farther to the right or left, according to Pew.