Gaming the System: Bernie Streaming on Twitch Before and After Debate

CONCORD, NH - MARCH 10: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) takes the stage during his first New Hampshire campaign event on March 10, 2019 in Concord, New Hampshire. Sanders who is so far the top Democratic candidate in the race is making the rounds in Iowa …
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The 2020 Bernie Sanders campaign created a Twitch channel that the Vermont senator will use to address young voters before and after Thursday’s rhetorical brawl.

Sanders is the second 2020 candidate to join the livestreaming service — the first being independent candidate Andrew Yang — with an account created and verified on Monday. On Thursday, the curious — and those already “feeling the Bern” — will get some face time with America’s favorite socialist. He will both precede and follow the debate with live broadcasts at 8:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern time.

And while every candidate will spend Thursday evening trying to stand out among the growing list of contenders for the Oval Office, Bernie will also compete with everything from Fortnite and League of Legends, to some good old-fashioned Dungeons & Dragons.

“This campaign is about bring new people into the political process,” the Sanders campaign told Vice in an e-mail. “As one of the first presidential campaigns ever to join Twitch, we hope to reach people who may not otherwise be involved in politics and speak with them about the issues that matter most to them.”

The channel is already a hit, with over 20,000 followers and nearly 25,000 views at the time of this writing. The chat is already flooded by would-be supporters and the platform’s inevitable troll quota. Chants of “right wingers out” blend with “Trump is our king” people demanding that Bernie play Minecraft with PewDiePie on the stream, and mass invitations to join the Sanders 2020 Discord group.

“Trump sucks smh he has no twith channel unlike bern man over here [sic],” one fan observed.

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