If Bernie Sanders isn’t Reddit’s favourite presidential candidate, he’s certainly its most discussed one, according to a report from the Pew Research Center released Thursday.
The polling think tank studied 350,000 Reddit comments mentioning 21 major presidential candidates in May, June, and September of 2015 and found that Sanders was mentioned in 165,000 comments while Hillary Clinton received 85,000 and Donald Trump only 73,000.
Trump’s low numbers — only 1,000 mentions in May — are partially attributable to the fact that he had not yet announced his candidacy. However, counting only June and September, Sanders still received an impressive 123,000 mentions compared to Clinton’s 65,000 and Trump’s 72,000.
Pew found Sanders’ widespread support on the site to be 69% male, 44% liberal, and 58% aged 18-29. The Sanders for President “subreddit” has nearly 200,000 subscribers — more than any other single candidate-focused subforum.
Enthusiasm for Sanders among young internet users was recently highlighted by The Washington Post in a profile of a Facebook group called “Bernie Sanders’ Dank Meme Stash,” a page where Sanders fans share bizarre jokes and images about the 74-year-old Vermont senator.
According to some, fervent online Sanders-boosting is not all positive. Reports of “Bernie Bros” spewing vitriol at Clinton’s supporters, particularly women, led Sanders himself to condemn the “attacks” on his competition.
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