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A Foolish Take: Twitter and Presidential Politics

It's fair to say that Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has become a much larger part of the conversation in the United States over the past two years as a result of politics.

But just how wide of a reach does Twitter offer politicians? That depends in part on how many followers they have on the platform.

President Donald Trump, who has embraced Twitter as his principal means for communicating with his base, has 41.8 million followers. That's a lot -- more than double Hillary Clinton's 19.5 million followers.

Data source: Twitter. Chart by author. Data as of Nov. 5, 2017.

Yet Trump comes up well short of his immediate predecessor. Former President Barack Obama has 96.5 million followers. Obama is behind only Katy Perry and Justin Bieber on Twitter's entire platform in terms of the number of followers.

Finally, we have George H.W. Bush, the only president from the Bush family with a Twitter handle (though Jeb Bush has one, with 1.5 million followers). The elder Bush has 293,000 followers. That might not seem like a lot, but I certainly don't know a lot of 93-year-olds that can boast more.

It remains to be seen whether Twitter will benefit from the attention it's attracting right now (which it desperately needs to). But either way, there's no question that it has become a much larger part of the current political dialogue than anyone would have guessed just a couple of years ago.

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John Maxfield has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.