The list of US Senators most likely to be making up facts.

My article on Monday: “The list of UK politicians most likely to be making up facts.” was pretty popular, which was nice.  It was actually popular enough that I decided to repeat the process, except instead of using UK MPs I’ve used members of the US senate.  I’m publishing the results in full here.

For those new to the post – I’ve writen some code that fetches a Twitter account’s recent tweets, strips out the retweets and also anything that doesn’t contain a number.  I then compare the number of times the account tweets a number without a link.  I’m NOT interested in who is right on any given issue, I’m interested in raising the level of the debate a little bit.  I’m aware there are some weaknesses in the methodology and I discus them in this post.

Before I give the table, a couple of things surprised me. One was that US senators are, despite their reputation for partisan bickering as much much more likely to cite sources than the UK MPs.  I had 15 MPs who hadn’t cited a single figure in the data on Monday. Today I have none.  Plus the averages are a lot higher – all but two Senators cite more often than a full half of UK MPs.  From a quick perusal it appears likely that this is due to US Senators being much more likely to have a dedicated press office, but that’s a bit of a wild guess.

In any case, here is the full list of US senators and how likely they are to reference figures they tweet about:

Rank Twitter ID Name Tweets in Sample Tweets with numbers Tweets with numbers and links Ratio
1 @SenShelby Richard Shelby 228 21 20 95%
2 @TomCoburn Sen. Tom Coburn M.D. 752 101 96 95%
3 @Mike_Johanns Senator Mike Johanns 575 40 38 95%
4 @SenThadCochran Senator Thad Cochran 797 78 72 92%
5 @SenJohnMcCain John McCain 800 52 48 92%
6 @SenTedCruz Senator Ted Cruz 838 57 52 91%
7 @SenatorSessions Sen. Jeff Sessions 768 34 31 91%
8 @SenStabenow Sen. Debbie Stabenow 790 44 40 91%
9 @TomUdallPress Tom Udall Press 191 54 45 83%
10 @SenatorBaldwin Sen. Tammy Baldwin 766 88 73 83%
11 @SenAlexander Sen. Lamar Alexander 657 86 71 83%
12 @SenBlumenthal Richard Blumenthal 551 40 33 83%
13 @MarkWarner Mark Warner 477 38 31 82%
14 @SenDonnelly Senator Joe Donnelly 789 92 75 82%
15 @MarkeyMemo Ed Markey 711 60 48 80%
16 @SenatorEnzi Mike Enzi 834 90 71 79%
17 @JohnBoozman Senator John Boozman 865 71 56 79%
18 @SenatorCollins SenatorSusanCollins 660 27 21 78%
19 @JerryMoran Jerry Moran 724 88 67 76%
20 @SenDanCoats Senator Dan Coats 610 29 22 76%
21 @SenatorHarkin Tom Harkin 780 95 72 76%
22 @SenatorKirk Mark Kirk 747 115 87 76%
23 @SenMikeLee Mike Lee 749 44 33 75%
24 @SenOrrinHatch Senator Hatch Office 871 106 79 75%
25 @SenToomey Senator Pat Toomey 806 80 59 74%
26 @lisamurkowski Sen. Lisa Murkowski 824 80 59 74%
27 @SenBobCorker Senator Bob Corker 825 38 28 74%
28 @SenJohnThune Senator John Thune 849 60 44 73%
29 @SenSanders Bernie Sanders 857 37 27 73%
30 @Sen_JoeManchin Senator Joe Manchin 784 166 120 72%
31 @MikeCrapo Senator Mike Crapo 790 41 29 71%
32 @MarkUdall Mark Udall 840 61 43 70%
33 @SenAngusKing Senator Angus King 806 60 42 70%
34 @SenatorFischer Senator Deb Fischer 839 79 55 70%
35 @SenJohnBarrasso Sen. John Barrasso 607 92 64 70%
36 @SenJohnHoeven Senator John Hoeven 742 55 38 69%
37 @SenDeanHeller Dean Heller 670 44 30 68%
38 @maziehirono Senator Mazie Hirono 694 69 47 68%
39 @McConnellPress Sen. McConnell Press 703 25 17 68%
40 @PattyMurray Senator Patty Murray 424 40 27 68%
41 @SenFeinstein Sen Dianne Feinstein 844 92 62 67%
42 @SenRonJohnson Senator Ron Johnson 785 46 31 67%
43 @CantwellPress Sen. Maria Cantwell 802 72 48 67%
44 @senrobportman Rob Portman 891 74 49 66%
45 @RoyBlunt Senator Roy Blunt 774 50 33 66%
46 @JohnCornyn JohnCornyn 534 58 38 66%
47 @ChrisCoons Senator Chris Coons 744 55 36 65%
48 @SenatorBurr Richard Burr 835 81 53 65%
49 @SenatorTomUdall Tom Udall 866 435 284 65%
50 @SenatorIsakson Johnny Isakson 689 72 47 65%
51 @SenBennetCO Michael Bennet 744 80 52 65%
52 @SenSherrodBrown Sherrod Brown 874 97 63 65%
53 @SenatorTimScott Tim Scott 747 56 35 63%
54 @RonWyden Ron Wyden 796 50 31 62%
55 @SenGillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand 784 62 38 61%
56 @SenRandPaul Senator Rand Paul 696 31 19 61%
57 @SenCarlLevin Senator Carl Levin 690 54 33 61%
58 @SenatorWicker Senator Roger Wicker 837 64 39 61%
59 @SenPatRoberts Pat Roberts 720 74 45 61%
60 @SenatorMenendez Sen. Robert Menendez 828 61 37 61%
61 @SenJackReed Senator Jack Reed 787 98 59 60%
62 @KellyAyotte Kelly Ayotte 763 70 42 60%
63 @SaxbyChambliss Saxby Chambliss 723 66 39 59%
64 @SenJohnsonSD Senator Tim Johnson 809 84 49 58%
65 @SenatorCardin Senator Ben Cardin 639 33 19 58%
66 @SenWhitehouse Sheldon Whitehouse 812 56 32 57%
67 @SenMarkPryor Senator Mark Pryor 695 95 53 56%
68 @JeffFlake Jeff Flake 839 52 29 56%
69 @timkaine Senator Tim Kaine 804 59 32 54%
70 @InhofePress Inhofe Press Office 783 85 46 54%
71 @SenatorCarper Senator Tom Carper 784 138 73 53%
72 @SenatorLeahy Sen. Patrick Leahy 591 53 28 53%
73 @SenatorBoxer Sen. Barbara Boxer 744 103 54 52%
74 @SenLandrieu Senator Landrieu 787 90 47 52%
75 @SenadorReid Senador Harry Reid 423 54 28 52%
76 @SenBillNelson Bill Nelson 472 45 23 51%
77 @SenBobCasey Senator Bob Casey 723 67 34 51%
78 @MartinHeinrich Martin Heinrich 838 46 23 50%
79 @SenBrianSchatz Senator Brian Schatz 131 6 3 50%
80 @SenatorBarb Barbara Mikulski 797 71 34 48%
81 @SenWalshOffice Sen. Walsh’s Office 172 15 7 47%
82 @SenatorBegich Senator Mark Begich 849 95 44 46%
83 @ChrisMurphyCT Chris Murphy 726 84 38 45%
84 @DavidVitter David Vitter 746 51 23 45%
85 @SenRockefeller Jay Rockefeller 891 80 33 41%
86 @SenJeffMerkley Senator Jeff Merkley 806 49 20 41%
87 @marcorubio Marco Rubio 892 103 42 41%
88 @SenatorDurbin Senator Dick Durbin 845 80 30 38%
89 @SenSchumer Chuck Schumer 768 107 40 37%
90 @GrahamBlog Lindsey Graham 797 51 19 37%
91 @SenatorRisch Senator Jim Risch 279 30 11 37%
92 @SenatorReid Senator Harry Reid 645 42 15 36%
93 @amyklobuchar Amy Klobuchar 737 150 52 35%
94 @clairecmc Claire McCaskill 855 70 24 34%
95 @SenatorHagan Senator Kay Hagan 882 140 45 32%
96 @CoryBooker Cory Booker 790 81 10 12%
97 @SenWarren Elizabeth Warren 257 11 1 9%
98 @ChuckGrassley ChuckGrassley 897 281 6 2%

 

I should say, in defence of Senator Grassley, he has a lot of Tweets of this form:

where he shortens things like ‘for’ into ‘4’ and a very large number of tweets that appear to be reporting volleyball scores, which take down his average somewhat… still the odd link would be useful to see from him.

 

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