Social media footprints: Who’s pulling ahead in WA-3?
What’s in a “like”?
Not a vote, necessarily. But as the candidates who are working toward winning Washington’s 3rd Congressional District seat begin to mount their 2022 campaigns, examining who’s amassing followers on social media does offer an early glimpse at who’s making noise and gaining traction.
And while not all followers are necessarily voters within the district — they do help a candidate raise money, which translates more directly to votes. So, with that in mind, here’s how everyone is doing.
A note: For the purposes of this comparison, I’m counting likes and follows applied specifically to the campaign-related social media accounts of the candidates. I’m omitting likes and follows on personal or professional accounts, but I’ll include them in the notes below.
- Joe Kent (R)
- Facebook: 2,435
- Twitter: 34,400
Kent has amassed a significant following over the course of the last few months, spurred on by a continuous tour of right-wing media outlets and shows that so far has included Fox Nation, Tucker Carlson Today and NewsMax (that’s just this week).
2. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R)
- Facebook: 23,970
- Twitter: 4,732
To be clear, Herrera Beutler has one set of accounts for Jaime Herrera Beutler, the candidate, and another set for Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, the sitting congresswoman. The numbers above are for her @votejaime pages. Her official congressional social media has a combined following of more than 91,000 (mostly on Twitter — she went viral in January in a thread explaining her vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump. The following fundraising quarter, she raised more money than in the Q1 of her previous five elections combined).
3. Brent Hennrich (D)
- Facebook: 161
- Twitter: 11,200
Hennrich — formerly a movie theater technician — has built his Twitter following from scratch since he announced his campaign in February. He’s extremely active on the account, posting and interacting with followers several times a day.
4. Heidi St. John (R)
- Facebook: 8,360
- Twitter: 28
Here’s the biggest example of a gap between the human and the candidate: When she declared her campaign, St. John was already semi-famous for her work as an evangelical author, speaker and blogger. The Facebook page linked to that venture, The Busy Mom, boasts a whopping 334,948 likes and easily tops the rest of the candidates (including the incumbent) in total reach. Her personal Twitter account (bio: “Wife || Mother || Jesus Girl”) has 4,408 followers. St. John will regularly repost items between her two sets of accounts.
5. Lucy Lauser (D):
- Facebook: 144
- Twitter: 31
Lauser is semi-active on Facebook and Twitter, but has not amassed a following on either platform.
6. Wadi Yakhour (R):
- Facebook: 224
- Twitter: 12
Yakhour posts to his Facebook account once a week. His Twitter is essentially inactive — he’s drafted three tweets total, all on April 3.