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article imageOp-Ed: Internet declares Bernie Sanders winner of Democratic debate

By Megan Hamilton     Oct 16, 2015 in Politics
Las Vegas - During Tuesday night's debate, Hillary Clinton was poised and confident, and seemed veritably presidential.
Her closest rival, Bernie Sanders, was ... well, Bernie Sanders.
And the Internet loved it.
Even the rather staid Wall Street Journal noted Sanders was the most-talked about candidate on the social media during Tuesday's Democratic debate, according to several different measurements.
Sanders was mentioned 407,000 times online Tuesday night — receiving more mentions than the rest of the Democratic contenders combined, reported Brandwatch, a social media analysis platform that examined the five candidates' performance during the debate, per the Journal. He was also the most-talked about candidate on Facebook and Twitter, the social networks reported.
His tweets also scored quite well, topping Twitter's list as the most-retweeted moments of the debate. They were helpfully spurred along by Sanders' use of Twitter's advertising tools to expand his online reach. His campaign also purchased the day's promoted hashtag, and soon #DebatewithBernie was the top hashtag, visible to every Twitter user in the U.S. The campaign then promoted several of the tweets sent by the Sanders campaign, and this means the campaign paid for all the tweets to be seen by more than those following Sanders and who would also see the tweets in their stream organically, the Journal reports.
Clinton did quite well in terms of gaining followers. On Facebook, she gained more than 7,700, while Sanders trailed with about 2,400, according to Engagement Labs, a social media measuring tool. Twitter was a different story, and here, Sanders dominated — picking up 42,730 followers. Clinton picked up 25,475 followers during the debate. The other candidates — Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley, and Jim Webb made negligible gains, the Journal reports.
Political pundits seemed to see things differently, however, U.S. Uncut reports:
NPR wrote "Hillary Clinton, the candidate with the most to lose, may have come away having gained the most."
The New York Times declared Clinton the winner. Journalist Alan Rappeport wrote "Hillary Rodham Clinton was the clear victor, according to the opinion shapers in the political world (even conservative commentators)," but U.S. Uncut journalist C. Robert Gibson reported he was "citing the opinions of overpaid pundits rather than the actual people on the internet."
Then the Guardian (Oh no, say it isn't so!) jumped in with "If you need to pick a winner from Tuesday night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton will do."
None of that even jibes with the information provided by the social media.
Stranger still, is that CNN posted a poll on its' website which clearly declared Sanders as the winner of the debate, with 81 percent of the vote and Hillary trailing well behind with 13 percent. I'm not kidding, you can check it out on the U.S. Uncut page that I linked to above. For whatever reason, CNN yanked that and then posted a Hillary-positive headline. This has prompted a petition calling for an investigation into the matter.
It makes me question CNN's motives, and here's why:
The Center for Responsive Politics notes that Time-Warner, which (ahem) owns CNN donated $159,249 to the Clinton campaign from 2003-2008. For the 2016 election cycle, the company has donated $87,835. I know these amounts are a drop in the bucket, but the question is relevant, nevertheless.
It's especially relevant when you consider that Sanders has run his entire campaign on small donations. His net worth is estimated at $330,000, as noted in earlier Digital Journal. It's also especially relevant when you consider that half the members of Congress are millionaires closely linked to the corporate world. It's even more relevant when, as Salon notes, you realize that Clinton is intrinsically linked to the Big Six banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley).
It's really nothing short of amazing that Bernie Sanders has pulled this off as well as he has, and it's largely due to the contributions of everyday people who are tired of a political system that ignores them and panders to the wealthy. I'm not suggesting that Hillary Clinton would pander to the wealthy; I don't know what she will do if she's elected.
That said, she has an army of corporate backers, and it's something that definitely needs to be considered.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Bernie sanders, Hillary clinton, Debate, sanders most talkedabout candidate, Social media
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