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Bernie Sanders is Social Media's Cinderella
By: Jessica Cherok
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If there is any current social media darling in the 2016 presidential candidates, it is certainly Bernie Sanders.

Sure, many of the other contenders are more well known and have more followers. Donald Trump has 4.5 million followers; Hillary Clinton comes in just below with 4.4 million. By comparison, @SenSanders 828,000 seems downright weensy, even when you add in the 710,000 followers of his official, campaign-specific @BernieSanders account.

Still, the man is downright popular, and gaining, on social media. In Tuesday night's debate, Sanders gained over 34,000 followers, while Clinton gained only 13,000. Donald Trump managed only 10,000 during the Republican debate in September.

Twitter isn't the only online arena Sanders is flourishing in. He has been raising money like crazy online, mostly in the form of small donations. His ability to even come close to the kinds of donations Clinton has received with the assistance of super PACs is impressive, and largely due to his grassroots, social media-fueled, and humorously named  #FeelTheBern campaign.

Of course, Sanders still has quite a long way to go. Whether or not he will be able to keep this kind of momentum seems unlikely, if past campaigns have shown us anything. Regardless, Sanders's online momentum is fun to watch, and really drives home how powerful social media groundswells can be.

   

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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