6 Reasons Sanders Actually Won the Debate Despite What Pundits Claim

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By C. Robert Gibson | October 14, 2015
Bernie Sanders crushed the debates by every measurable indicator except one: pundits’ opinion.

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1. Facebook
According to US News and World Report, Bernie Sanders was the most talked-about candidate on Facebook, with Clinton in a distant second. A US News liveblog poll, conducted on Facebook, asked viewers to select the candidate they think won the debate. Sanders was the overwhelming favorite, with 82 percent of the vote.

2. Twitter
Bernie Sanders was mentioned 407,000 times on Twitter — more than any candidate combined. He also picked up an astonishing 42,730 new followers during and after the debate, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 25,475 new followers. In an analysis of tweets, 69 percent of those mentioning Bernie Sanders were positive. Only 56 percent of tweets mentioning Hillary Clinton were positive. When comparing the frequency of mentions, Bernie Sanders’ name or handle was mentioned 12,000 times per minute, while Clinton’s name or handle was mentioned 8,300 times per minute.

3. Fundraising
In Bernie Sanders’ closing statement, the Vermont senator mentioned how he recently set fundraising records by raising $26 million in the last quarter with over 650,000 contributors giving an average donation of $30. Sanders even threw in a last-minute fundraising ask, and it worked: the candidate gained a whopping $1.4 million in new contributions after the debate.

4. Focus Groups
When the mainstream media polled focus groups to ask who won the debate, group participants overwhelmingly chose Bernie Sanders. CNN selected a group of undecided voters in Nevada; conservative messaging guru Frank Lutz picked a focus group of Democratic voters in Florida; Fusion picked out a focus group of millennial voters from Miami. And in each instance, focus groups thought Bernie Sanders won the debate. Luntz’ participants described Sanders as “strong,” “smart,” and “for the people,” with nearly all participants picking him as their favorite. Fusion’s focus group picked Sanders 8-3.

5. Online Polling
Out of every mainstream media organization conducting an online poll asking participants who won, Bernie Sanders destroyed the competition. It wasn’t even close. Even Fox News and Drudge participants said Sanders won by a huge margin.

6. Google Searches
Bernie Sanders was by far the most-googled candidate of the night, surpassing all of his competitors before the debate, during the debate, and afterward. No other candidate came close.