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EXography: Tea Party leaders dominate most-searched senators ranking

Google search results by senator

Map by Luke Rosiak/Washington Examiner

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is the most written-about member of the U.S. Senate, and by a wide margin over his closest competitor.

At least that is the case if the measure used is how many hits come up on a Google search for "Sen. Rand Paul."

Six of the top 10 were Republicans, including five linked to the Tea Party, and four were Democrats.

Paul generated more than 34 million results in a Dec. 27 Google search on the term "Sen. Rand Paul," 8.2 million more than Texas Republican Ted Cruz, who generated 26.5 million.

Search totals vary from day to day, likely reflecting each senator's comparative activity in the daily news flow.

Florida Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson was the third-most written-about member of the world's most exclusive debating club, with nearly 23 million hits.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada was fourth, generating 20.1 million. Fifth was Republican Sen. John McCain with 17.3 million.

Both Paul and Cruz are associated with the Tea Party movement, but Paul was elected to the Senate in 2010, while Cruz won his seat in 2012.

Since the search measured the number of times each senator was written about, it might be expected that Senate leaders like Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would top the ranking.

But being a top Senate leader is no guarantee of greater prominence in the digital media universe, as Reid was fourth but trailed Paul by 14.6 million results, and McConnell was 19th, generating nearly 1.2 million results.

Other Tea Party senators also did well in the ranking with Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson showing in sixth with 9.1 million hits, Utah Republican Mike Lee in ninth with 2.85 million and Florida Republican Marco Rubio in 10th with 2.6 million.

Completing the top 10 were Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in seventh with nine million and Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in eighth with eight million.

Thus, six of the top 10 were Republicans, including five linked to the Tea Party, and four were Democrats, including one, Warren, who like Cruz was elected in 2012.

Other Senate leaders were left back in the pack in the ranking, with Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois in 35th with 603,000 and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the minority whip, in 33rd with 608,000.

Eight of the bottom 10 senators are Republicans, with Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas occupying the last spot with 62,000.

Just above Boozman is Hawaii Democrat Mazie Hirono with 71,300. Boozman and Hirono were both elected in 2012.

Other notable senators included South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham in 16th with 1.45 million hits and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin in 17th with 1.25 million hits.

Among vulnerable Democrats facing tough re-election battles in 2014, Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu was 44th with 416,000.

Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken was 33rd with 618,000 and Arkansas Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor was 26th with 776,000.

Colorado Democrat Sen. Mark Udall was 39th with 535,000, while Alaska Sen. Mark Begich was 74th with 208,000.

Mark Tapscott is executive editor of the Washington Examiner.