January 12, 2015

Think Members Of Congress Aren’t Listening? New Poll Shows They Are

A new survey by the Congressional Management Foundation of U.S. House and Senate staff members shows members of Congress are paying particular attention to their constituents’ social media commentary and conversations. According to CQ Roll Call (subscription required), “three quarters of senior staff said that between one and 30 comments on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter were enough to grab their attention on an issue. Thirty-five percent said that fewer than 10 comments were enough.” The report also found:

  • 77 percent of senior staff members said multiple constituents commenting within a group could influence their boss; 
  • 75 percent said leaders of a group or organization could have an impact on their member’s thinking; and
  • 68 percent noted multiple constituents commenting similarly, but not under the banner of a group could also impact their boss.

CQ Roll Call emphasized that even one comment from a single constituent can have an impact. The news outlet said, “Researchers asked staffers whether different types of constituent messages on social media were influential to the representatives and senators they serve. While respondents were most likely to say that multiple constituents participating within a group were influential, a majority of those polled (58 percent) said that even a single constituent commenting on their own was considered influential.”