Internet’s influential role in choosing candidates

By: Alyson Jurgovan

Staff Reporter

dankberniememe

 

The 2016 presidential election has been a series of firsts for Americans. The first time a woman has ran for president, the first time a candidate has openly referred to themselves as a democratic-socialist, the first time a violently aggressive celebrity has made it this far in a presidential race.

However, a much-less-talked-about first is the role the Internet has played.

Day after day, my timeline is flooded with “Feel The Bern” memes, GIFS and videos. It seems that everyone (at least within the millennial demographic) is showing Bernie Sanders some love.

And yet, on March 1, he took a hard loss to Hillary Clinton.

Where were all of his Internet fanatics then? I predicted the same results for my own state of Illinois for the March 15 primary, and while it was a much closer race this time around (51-49) it appeared that not even his inspirational rally in Chicago the night before could get him the win.

Perhaps Clinton’s recent influx of popular Internet lingo has actually reached those voters that she needed.

Have the trendy GIFS posted on her Twitter account appealed to the youth that she needs so badly? Have the Lena Dunhams of social media given her enough exposure? Has she sufficiently dabbed her way to the nomination?

Whatever it is, the Internet is crucial in this election. And while it appears that people love supporting Sanders, meme culture simply is not enough to take an election.  

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