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Several months ago, Salon did an article comparing Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton on Facebook. On August 22, Bernie had “1,197,290 likes to Clinton’s 1,199,797. By the end of the day, he had 1,218,879 to her 1,205,437. His lead has only increased since then.”

bernie on facebook

Flyering For Bernie—Michael Hertz

Where are they now? As of December 6, Bernie is at 2,029,423. Hillary is at 1,874,835. And please note the activity on those pages. Hillary posted a “Stand with Planned Parenthood” item on her page and got 5,064 people “liking” it and 381 people sharing it. Bernie had a similar posting. 28,162 liked it and 6,619 shared it.

And please note that these are “Politician” pages, which means that they are basically controlled by the campaigns themselves. There are other types of pages on Facebook, and they are far more interesting.

When Time magazine asked for people to nominate its “Person of the Year,” on November 17 Bernie Sanders had 10.3% of the votes (first place) and Hillary got 1.4% (behind such people as John Kerry, Elon Musk, and Stephen Colbert).

Quite significant are the “group pages.” Unlike the “politician” or other sort of community pages, the “group pages” allow individuals to post articles and photos directly on the page. The other types of pages only allow comments. Bernie has dozens if not hundreds of such groups. “Bernie Sanders for President 2016” has 250,876 members. There are three groups for Hillary with a similar name, but their grand total is only 7,500 members. If you type in “Florida for Hillary,” you get one group with 1,844 members. “Florida for Bernie” gets two groups totalling more than 3,900 members. “Nevada for Bernie” gets two groups with 1,060 members total. “Nevada for Hillary” does not appear to exist as a group.

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There are other indicators, too. When Time magazine asked for people to nominate its “Person of the Year,” on November 17 Bernie Sanders had 10.3% of the votes (first place) and Hillary got 1.4% (behind such people as John Kerry, Elon Musk, and Stephen Colbert). Pope Francis got 3.7% And Donald Trump got 1.8%. I'm not sure that Time will select Bernie as Person of the Year for 2015, since we haven't even had any primary voting, but it's pretty indicative that he has received so many votes.

Try using Google. Put in “Honk for Bernie,” and look at the images. You get lots of photos of events involving honking for Bernie. But if you put in “Honk for Hillary,” you get no pictures of events. None. What you get are pictures of bumper stickers saying things like “Hillary 2016 Prison or President?”, “Honk, if you hate Hillary,” and “I'm not Ready for Hillary.” (Yes, there are so pro Hillary bumper sticks, too, but a lot of negative ones. You get no pictures of negative Bernie bumper stickers.) If you try “Honk for Donald Trump,” all you get are five stickers, two of which say “Honk if you're voting for Trump so I can give you the finger.” If you look for web sites on Google, you can find a link to one “Honk for Donald” event. Try it for Hillary, and you can find some references to honking for her, but most of them are from back in 2008. On the other hand, “Honk for Bernie” will guide you to all sorts of recent events.

If you go on and put in @HillaryClinton, you'll learn that 41% of her followers are supposedly fake. Put in @BernieSanders and you'll find that only 11% are fake. (Hillary has a lot more twitter followers than Bernie, but if you only count the “real” ones, they are very close in number). Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) is 36% fake. Barack Obama (@BarackObama) is 63% fake. You have to wonder how accurate any of this is!

So what does this all mean? It certainly means that those rooting for Bernie are really active and that they give freely of their time and probably whatever free money they have. If you are a member of a lot of Bernie groups, you'll find the names of the same people over and over again, because activists for Bernie join many different Bernie groups. That way they can spread the word to a lot of different people.

At the same time, whether on a national or local level, there are a lot of things going on. We had a meeting in North Hollywood, California, for people interested in doing phone banking and other things for Bernie, and there were well over 100 people in attendance on a Sunday morning. We've done “Honk for Bernie” events weekly, and we get more and more honks. There really are people out there who are enthusiastic. And that enthusiasm, replicated all over the country, may yet carry the day for Bernie Sanders. The social media reflects what we are seeing at the local level.


Michael T. Hertz