The Influencers Index — State of the Union … and the Senate Race

By Anthony York | Posted January 23, 2015

Every week, the Grizzly Bear Project checks in with the California Influencers Index, digesting the Tweets from more than 300 California political insiders. Powered by software from Zignal Labs, the list, which includes members of the media, elected officials and other state political Tweeters, gives us a sense of what California politicos were talking about, and who among them had the widest reach.

From Jan. 16-23, we tracked more than 17,000 Tweets and Twitter mentions from those on The Index. (17,354). That’s down considerably from the more than 28,000 mentions during the previous seven days (Jan 8-15). Why the difference? In a word: budget. Though the State of the Union received more than 1.5 Twitter mentions in all, for our California insiders, the budget trumps the president.

This week’s activity was dominated by two events — the State of the Union address and Tom Steyer’s announcement that he would not run for U.S. Senate. Which one had California political tongues wagging the most?



As the chart above shows, mentions of the State of the Union greatly outnumbered Steyer’s announcement. The hour-by-hour mention chart shows more than 1,100 SOTU mentions from our insiders during the hour of the president’s speech, with just under 500 during the lunch hour on Thursday when Steyer formally withdrew.

The Tweet of the week came from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose 1.2 million Twitter followers are by far the most of anyone on our index. Newsom’s praise of Obama’s speech received 111 retweets, compared to 75 for Kamala Harris’s pro-SOTU Tweet.

As for the Steyer announcement on Thursday, among our Tweeters, the Chron’s Carla Marinucci had the most popular Tweet of the hour, with 20 retweets of Steyer’s news.



But neither Steyer nor the president could compete with Kamala Harris when it came to total mentions for the week among the Tweeters of the Index. Here’s a look at the most commonly Tweeted issues from Jan 16-23:

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Anthony York
Anthony York has covered California politics for close to 20 years. Before launching the Grizzly Bear Project in 2015, he covered Gov. Jerry Brown's administration for the Los Angeles Times. He is the former editor of Capitol Weekly, a former Associate Editor of the California Journal and of, where he also served as the Web site's Washington D.C. correspondent. He tweets at @anthonyyork49

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