Take a visit to Reddit and you will quickly see why Hillary Clinton is losing the youth vote to Bernie Sanders by Kim Jong-Il style margins.
The site is filled with smaller community focused pages called “subreddits,” one of them “politics” — with over 3 million subscribers — is littered with pro-Sanders links and likewise anti-Clinton ones. While the site has been historically left-leaning, negative articles used to be focused on Republicans not fellow Democrats.
Reddit calls it self the “front page of the internet,” and according to Alexa it is the ninth largest site in the United States. It is important to note the demographics of the site. According to a December 2015 survey of the site’s users, about half the site is between the ages of 18-24, and 80 percent of the site is under 35.
From August 2015 onward on the politics subreddit, one can see the Sanders love and Hillary being treated the same as conservatives.
Not only has Sanders seemed to make the general politics community his own, he even has his own subreddit “SandersForPresident,” with over 180,000 subscribers. Hillary Clinton’s subreddit, “HillaryClinton,” on the other hand has just about 4,000 subscribers.
The SandersForPresident group not only shares links in support of the Vermont senator but also raises money, having donated over $1.4 million so far this election cycle.
The subreddit has branded itself as Grassroots for Sanders and Alex Stigler, director of operations, spoke to The Daily Caller about the site’s growth and volunteering efforts. In the hours leading up to Sen. Sanders’s announcement that he is running for president, he made a post on the subreddit urging users to “stand with [him] and organize an unprecedented grassroots campaign.”
Stigler told TheDC while its hard to measure phone banking, that at least 60,000 calls by users have been reported. “When it comes to door-to-door canvassing…the ‘Coders for Sanders’ made an app which was more or less a grassroots mobile van,” said Stigler. This enabled people without a field office in their area to participate in the campaign, at one point about 5,000 or so people were using the app.
In a conscious effort to avoid breaking FEC laws, Stigler tells us between the group and the campaign, “we have tried to keep a firewall as best we can.”
In April 2015, when Bernie announced he was running for the Democratic nomination, there were 146,793 unique visitors to the site. There are already almost 1.5 million uniques in February.
If Sanders’s dominance on Reddit isn’t enough to convince you that he is winning the internet, and thus the youth vote, take a look at Facebook.
According to the USA Today/Facebook “candidate barometer,” Hillary Clinton enjoys more Facebook activity than Sanders, defined as likes, comments, shares, and posts, though the demographics talking about each candidate show a different trend.
In the week of January 26, 41.4 percent of Sanders activity came from users 18-34. That same week, only 26.7 percent people that age were talking about Clinton while 36 percent of Facebook activity related to her was from users over 55. This isn’t a phenomenon that occurred in one isolated week.
The week of December 1, only 23.2 percent of conversations related to Hillary came from users age 18-34, 40.6 percent came from those over 55. While the Vermont senator is the older of the two geriatrics, just 27.7 percent of activity related to Sanders came from users over 55, while 40.6 came from those aged 18-24.
And while Clinton does have about four million more Twitter followers than Bernie, according to a November analysis of followers by TwitterAudit Hillary had the most fake followers of all the presidential candidates with 41 percent. In comparison, only 10 percent of Sanders’s followers were from fake accounts, the least of all candidates, Republican or Democrat.
New Hampshire exit polls show that about 85 percent of voters under 30 flocked to Sanders and this is unlikely to change as long as the Internet loves him.