If you're a conservative, I'm guessing you're already following most of these folks. If you're a political junkie who wants insights into the conservative world, keep reading. And if you're a liberal, you better keep tabs on this list, too.
One clarification: This isn't a list of the top conservatives in America, although in many cases these Twitter-users and leading conservatives overlap. There are plenty of terrific conservative writers, politicians, and activists who don't use Twitter, or if they do, they don't use it well. But if your goal is to keep up in rapid-fire fashion with the conservative movement, here are the places to go.
- @ewerickson -- RedState is arguably the most important conservative blog in the world, and RedState's top guy, Erick Erickson, is prominent on Twitter. This, of course, makes him an obvious choice for the top spot. Erickson's significance is increased by his willingness to call-out fellow Republicans who stray from conservatism.
- @NewtGingrich -- It should be no surprise that former Speaker Gingrich, who has always embraced ideas, innovation and technology, should also embrace Twitter. Though not prolific on Twitter, Gingrich doesn't just use the medium as a top-down communications tool to get his message across, he also interacts with the Twitter community.
- @EdMorrissey -- Aside from consistently providing interesting and insightful commentary, Ed Morrissey of the popular conservative blog HotAir serves a vital function on Twitter for online conservatives: He often acts as an unofficial conservative liaison to mainstream journalists, engaging them in friendly debates and conversations.
- @MelissaTweets -- While many conservative writers, politicians and activists have wisely leveraged Twitter to advance their ongoing efforts, the medium seems to have propelled Melissa Clouthier to our attention. To be sure, Clouthier is also a good blogger and podcaster, but this mom (who also runs a part-time chiropractic practice) has Tweeted her way into conservative opinion leader status.
- @JoeNBC -- As his Twitter bio, "Keep Calm and Carry On" implies, former congressman (and MSNBC host) Joe Scarborough advocates mutual respect and civil debate. Some conservatives, no doubt, believe Scarborough isn't conservative enough, but he serves an important function, injecting common-sense conservative principles into the consciousness of an audience that otherwise may never hear opposing viewpoints.
- @jstrevino -- Josh Treviño is a co-founder of RedState and founder and president of Treviño Strategies and Media, Inc. Not a passive Twitterer, Treviño frequently engages in heated conversations and debates -- and often uses his keen intellect and quick wit to lampoon his liberal adversaries. If Joe Scarborough's Twitter feed is about staying calm, Treviño's feed is about getting caffeinated.
- @JimGeraghty -- National Review's Jim Geraghty is an essential follow for anyone interested in campaigns and elections. Prone to humorous one-liners that get Re-Tweeted, Geraghty recently noted that, "Now we know what caused Gen. Petraeus' fainting spell last week: A shocking premonition."
- @seanhackbarth -- The online communications adviser for the Senate Republican Conference, Sean Hackbarth is probably the most embedded and engaged of all GOP congressional staffers in the conservative Twitter community.
- @KevinMaddenDC – The former Romney (and DeLay and Boehner) spokesman turned public affairs VP (and frequent cable TV talking head), Kevin Madden provides a center-right/ D.C. "insider" perspective. Expect smart insights into political strategy and messaging as well.
- @mkhammer -- The Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham brings her unique sense of humor and acute political analysis to Twitter.
- @bdomenech -- Another RedState co-founder, Ben Domenech, currently writes for the New Ledger. From critiquing news websites or the "old world publishing business" to creating controversy over Elena Kagan's sexual orientation, Domenech is always interesting.
- @PatrickRuffini -- As might be expected, a lot of Republican tech consultants are on Twitter, but Ruffini's feed is always relevant and engaging.
- @AndyRoth -- The Club for Growth is arguably the most powerful force in Republican primary elections, and Andy Roth is their VP of government relations. If you're interested in knowing where fiscal conservatives stand on a certain issue -- or if you'd like the occasional free market economics lesson -- this feed is for you.
- @StevenErtelt -- His Twitter bio says it all: "As the founder and Editor of LifeNews.com, Steven Ertelt has provided the pro-life community with news via the Internet since 1993."
- @dmataconis -- If you're looking for snarky insight into what the libertarian wing of the conservative movement thinks on a given issue, 'Below the Beltway's Doug Mataconis is a good feed to follow.
- @allahpundit -- HotAir's Allah Pundit is as mysterious as the unexplained links he Tweets. His "hmmmm" Tweets are always must clicks.
- @PhilipaKlein -- Philip Klein is a correspondent for The American Spectator and closely follows legislation and elections. Klein often takes unpredictable stances, such as his recent full-throated defense of former Washington Post blogger Dave Weigel.
- @MikeRiggs -- A staff writer at the Daily Caller, Mike Riggs tends to represent the libertarian wing of the conservative movement. Riggs' Tweets are often hilarious -- and always irreverent. Those opposed to salty language in their morning Tweets should skip this one.
- @Cubachi -- We don't know Jennifer's last name, but we do know her Twitter handle, "Cubachi," relates to her Cuban/Chinese heritage. Jennifer exercises an outsized influence on Twitter, due to her ongoing conversations with other prominent conservatives. Jennifer is prolific on Twitter, and this includes her coverage of events like American Idol and the World Cup. Non-conservatives who think conservatives are boring old white men who only talk about policy would find following Cubachi to be an enlightening experience.
- @johnhawkinsrwn -- A popular conservative blogger who runs Right Wing News and is a frequent columnist for Townhall.com, John Hawkins does not mince words. Those looking for a daily dose of pure, unadulterated, conservative red meat Tweets need look no further.
- @MichelleMalkin -- Though not prolific on Twitter or overly interactive with the community, Malkin has embraced the medium to a greater extent than most conservatives of her stature.
- @snarkandboobs -- The conservative Twitterverse is stacked with interesting conservative ladies who have taken to the medium with a vengeance. Lori Ziganto is one of the best.
- @rsmccain -- Robert Stacy McCain has aptly been described as "the conservative Hunter S. Thompson." Now imagine if Hunter Thompson was on Twitter!
- @danriehl -- Most notable for his willingness to call-out powerful conservatives, Dan Riehl blogs at Riehl World View. In Riehl's world, no one -- from RedState's Erick Erickson to National Review -- is above questioning.
- @CalebHowe – RedState blogger Caleb Howe is a prominent presence on Twitter. Count on Caleb for sometimes funny -- and other times extremely harsh -- Twitter rants from the right.