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Bernie Sanders’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Analysis


From Brooklyn, New York, Bernie Sanders, sometimes known as Bernard Sanders, is an independent politician. Between 1981 through 1989, Sanders served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, where he started his political career (“”). From then, he entered the more important political arena by becoming a member of the House of Representatives from 1991 until 2007 (“Encyclopedia Britannica”). But in 2006, Sanders was successful in organizing American voters to support his candidacy. serving in the Senate as Vermont’s delegate (“”). Sanders sought for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020 despite his reputation as an independent politician (“Encyclopedia Britannica”). One of the most significant presidential campaigns in American history, Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign served as a model for many others (Azevedo et al.). In the 2008 Vermont senate election, Sander rose from unknown to a political star with international recognition. Because of its unfailing advances in using social media and technology to engage and mobilize supporters, Sander’s presidential campaign was a triumph. From the start, Sanders’ team used social media to create a grassroots movement that disseminated the message across the US and soon gained political traction (Penney).

Young people were especially attracted to Sanders’ campaign due to his genuineness and desire to take a strong interest in economic and political equality. Because of its grassroots orientation, it also appeals to young people. Volunteers were crucial to the movement’s ability to reach voters and convey Sanders’ message. Peer-to-peer messaging, canvassing, phone banking, and other campaign tasks were carried out by the volunteers (McKelvey & Piebiack). Despite the fact that Sanders was less well-known than the majority of the competitors, including Hillary Clinton, his campaign was successful because a strong base of followers who were passionate about his revolutionary message were created. Concurrently, Sanders’ campaign questioned the Democratic Party’s political foundation. Millions of Americans who were fed up with the political establishment and business lobbyists’ financial support of politicians responded favorably to his call for economic justice and political revolution. During its fundraising, it was clear that it was aiming for the average supporters; by generating millions of dollars from tiny contributions and grassroots support, it stuck to its stance against corporate America. By doing this, Sanders demonstrated the effectiveness of small gift support and made it clear that the typical American was his primary constituency for government. Sanders raised more than $200 million for his campaign by the conclusion of the election cycle (see “Summary Data”).

Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign had a significant transformational impact on American politics. It illustrated the effectiveness of technology and neighborhood organization in political campaigns and aided in moving the Democratic Party’s policy platform to the left. When Sanders campaigned for president once again in 2020, his vision of political revolution and economic fairness found a home with millions of Americans.


The 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders emphasized the need for an economic and political revolution. Sanders was concerned that strong businesses in America controlled too much of the government, and he recognized the need for a radical path (Van Alebeek). In order to empower the populace and create a government that served all citizens, not just the affluent and powerful, Sanders became convinced that reforming the political system was the only way to bring about change (Van Akebeek).

Many Americans, especially leftists and younger people who were dissatisfied with the political climate at the moment, welcomed Sanders’ invitation to the new dawn. He made several promises throughout his campaign to solve concerns with healthcare, climate change, and wealth inequality. Sanders’ rhetoric, on the other hand, sparked a surge of intense rage and dissatisfaction among Americans in the middle and upper classes who believed the political and economic systems were biased against them (Van Alebeek).

Sanders made a compelling case for the need of economic fairness. He thought the current financial system was biased, with a small number of affluent people and companies controlling a substantial portion of the nation’s wealth and resources. He promoted policies like free higher education, free healthcare for everybody, and increased minimum salaries in order to promote a more fair management and allocation of resources and opportunities (Van Alebeek). His message underlined the need of having a society that is for everyone, not just the wealthy and powerful.

Additionally, he advocated for political change and economic fairness while stressing the need of social justice. Sanders was of the opinion that the country needed to address the structural problems with sexism, racism, and other types of discrimination that persisted there (Francois et al.). He advocated for improvements to the criminal justice system, an end to mass imprisonment, and measures to deal with police violence and racial profiling. Sanders supported equal pay for women and the protection of LGBTQ people (Francois et al.).

Target Audiences

The working class, younger voters, and progressives were among the key demographic categories that Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign targeted (Schubert). Particularly among minority groups like young voters and people of color, his worldview was well-liked. Millennials were interested in his political and economic news because of his attempts to solve student debt and economic injustice (Schubert). Social media was used by his campaign to reach out to voters and engage them. Progressives were a significant target group for Sanders’ campaign (Schubert). Sanders’ political and economic justice campaign, which supported causes including free higher education, affordable healthcare, and increased minimum salaries, connected effectively with this category of voters (Francois et al.). Additionally, Sanders’ campaign targeted Americans from the working class as part of its target demographic. His social justice campaign focused on initiatives including a higher minimum wage and more worker protection. Such a thread captivated the hearts of his supporters since they believed the economic system had abandoned them (Francois et al.). Therefore, Sanders’ campaign pushed for solving problems like job security, inequality, and the dwindling middle class, all of which were major worries for Americans of the working class.

Independent voters were Sanders’ target audience because they want a candidate who would stand out for their objectives and beliefs outside of the two-party system (Francois et al.). Independent voters worried about the state’s financial stability were won over by Sanders’ message of political revolution and economic fairness. The fact that Sanders was never a fully Democratic candidate served to support this notion. He sought for the Democratic nomination and declared himself an independent party, leaning closer toward socialism.

Minority voters, notably Latinos and African Americans, were difficult for Sanders’ campaign to attract (Moore 53). The campaign, however, came under fire for failing to prioritize racial justice and diversity problems as well as for failing to include these groups in its message and policy recommendations (Moore, 63). The difficulties Sanders’ campaign had in this area serve as a reminder of the value of diversity and intersectionality in political campaigns as well as the need of engaging with all constituencies and groups.

In conclusion, Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign targeted a number of demographic categories, including young voters, independents, progressives, and Americans of working class. This set of voters, who want a candidate to represent their problems, worries, and interests, was affected by his message of political revolution and economic fairness. However, due to the minority voters’ lack of support, his campaign was unsuccessful, underscoring the significance of diversity and intersectionality in political campaigns.

Social Media Strategies

The 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders was well-known and praised for its extensive creative use of social media for mobilization and involvement. According to Mackenzie & Wajcman, “Technologies can be designed, consciously or unconsciously, to open some social options and close others.” Sanders’ campaign recognized the use of social media to connect with their followers, reach their target audience, and create grassroots movements. Twitter was one resource that helped Sanders’ campaign. His team utilized to run its campaign on Twitter and get in touch with its followers. The #FeelTheBern hashtag was developed by the campaign staff and immediately became a gathering place for supporters and a tool to follow the campaign’s development. Sanders’ Twitter account promoted events, spoke in real-time with supporters, and published campaign information (Mackenzie & Wajcman).Sanders, as a result, made extensive use of Facebook as a campaign tool. A specific campaign page acted as a gathering place for supporters and a platform for connecting with fresh, live audiences. Facebook was used to promote events and fundraisers, share videos of Sanders, and post pictures and campaign updates. Peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives were developed by the team using Facebook, and these systems encouraged and let donors to set up their own fundraising sites and activate their social media networks. On social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat, Sanders’ campaign targeted young, engaged voters (Towner & Caroline).Snapchat is crucial for monitoring campaigns. The campaign team set up a Snapchat account to communicate with young people and share behind-the-scenes photos of the campaign route. The team’s use of Instagram to publish images and videos from the campaign, advertise events, and collect money for charity greatly increased its reach among young people. The campaign managers received major rewards for using online organizing tools and social media methods. To interact with supporters and energize voters, they used peer-to-peer messaging, phone banking, and email outreach techniques (Rhodes). These tactics were designed to reach the younger voters who often use social media. User-generated material was recognized by the Sanders campaign and used for social media engagements. In order to propagate Sanders’ message across social media platforms, the management urged supporters to post and produce original material, including memes, videos, and images.

Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign essentially served as a showcase for the ability of social media to engage and organize political audiences. The campaign’s radical decision to employ Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook alongside other channels improved the development of grassroots movements and actively engaged their supporters. The focus of the campaign was on organizing tools and user-generated content. The success of the campaign depended on the feeling of community and involvement it fostered among the supporters.

Use of Specific Tools

The 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders made impressive use of technology and specific tools to engage supporters and mobilize votes. The campaign made the most of this chance to influence and reach new audiences, enhance the campaign’s message, and create a grassroots movement after realizing the potency of technology as a vehicle for reaching large numbers of people.

A customized website that served as both a gathering place for Sander’s supporters and a platform for reaching out to new audiences was one of the key tools the campaign deployed (Lacutus 262).

In order to foster a feeling of solidarity and community among the fans, some supporters offered to send customised SMS messages to other supporters and prospective supporters. The platform was also a wonderful method to inform supporters of the campaign’s progress and promote fundraisers and events,

Additionally, Sander’s campaign largely relied on phone banking as a strategy for engaging and mobilizing voters and supporters. Supporters offered to phone prospective supporters to educate them about the campaigner’s activities, demonstrations, and policies, similar to peer-to-peer texting (Nielsen). Additionally, it provided a chance to motivate the supporters to actively engage in the campaign. Reaching older voters, who were less likely to be active on social networking sites and favored conventional campaign outreach techniques, was made possible and successful by this technology.

In addition to the previously listed techniques, fundraising tools also played a crucial part in Sander’s campaign. A peer-to-peer approach for fund raising was started, enabling individual supporters to construct their own sites and activate their own networks to generate money. As a consequence of their propensity to utilize social media and internet fundraising tools, many young contributors were attracted. Supporters might also use online channels for making modest, frequent contributions. A sizable support base that was committed to the presidential candidate’s message and eager to contribute to the campaign’s success was also produced.

Finally, Sanders’ beliefs and intentions as a presidential candidate were successfully publicized via the use of conventional campaign techniques like television advertisements and direct mail.

However, these techniques were carefully planned and aimed at a certain demographic. The goal was to target a certain demographic and make the most use of the campaign’s resources. For instance, direct mail was targeted towards older voters since they were more likely to respond to it during a campaign. Additionally, in order to reach prospective supporters in critical swing states, the television advertisements were specifically targeted at certain demographic groupings and target demographics.

Given that technology is one of the best ways to reach larger audiences of supporters, Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign made the most of modern methods of campaigning. Peer-to-peer messaging, phone banking, and fundraising platforms were used extensively to mobilize voters in important demographic groups, establish a grassroots movement, and engage new supporters in novel and creative ways. The campaign also found strategies to target certain audiences and made the most of the resources at its disposal. Traditional campaign tactics like direct mail and television advertising were carefully chosen to reach certain demographics. One of the key elements that contributed to Sanders’ campaign’s success was the advanced use of certain technologies, which should serve as a crucial lesson to all future candidates.

Concepts and Theories

During Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, a number of crucial ideas and theories of political communication were put into practice. These included the value of political sincerity, the effectiveness of grassroots activism, and the significance of framing in political discourse.

Political sincerity

The significance of political authenticity for all candidates seeking to participate in any campaign was well shown by Sanders’ campaign. Sanders’ message of political revolution and economic justice was based on his lengthy history of advocating for these causes as well as his extensive list of enduring and progressive beliefs. Sanders’ fans (Dyck) saw him as a candidate who really values and supports their interests and ideas, and they trusted him because of his constancy and genuineness. Additionally, it set him apart from many other candidates vying for the presidency, including Hillary Clinton, who was seen as being more traditional (Patterson).

The Influence of Grassroots Movement

The campaign of Sander largely depended on volunteer mobilization, which included, among other things, phone banking, canvassing, and peer-to-peer messaging. Sanders was able to develop a devoted and enthusiastic network of followers who were passionate about the message he delivered because to the focus placed on grassroots organizing, which was essential to the campaign’s success. Supporters were mobilized in interesting ways thanks to the use of social media and technology in communication. This created a lively political atmosphere, which was essential for promoting involvement.

The significance of framing in political communication

Sanders remained steadfast in his call for political and economic revolution. His followers, particularly the young people, found this message to be very resonant.

progressives and Americans from the working class. The urgency and significance of his message were highlighted by this framing, notably the need to question the status quo and advance radical change, which his target audience ardently supported. The framing included topics including the nation’s infamous healthcare problems, wealth disparity, and the impact of climate change on the nation. With his strong foundation and dedication to progressive principles and ideas, he once again stood out among his rivals.

Along with demonstrating the validity of these ideas, Sander’s campaign also demonstrated the importance of emotional appeal in political discourse (Brader, 89). The message of political revolution and economic fairness struck a chord with a lot of Americans. Many Americans have experienced suffering and damage as a result of problems related to inequality, healthcare, and climate change, which are often ignored by authorities. Since many Americans observed how much these concerns had been overlooked in the country despite being priority, the campaign played to their feelings of long-sighted anger, irritation, and grief (Xiang et al.). Sanders’ followers were encouraged to get active and take part in the effort to bring about dramatic change by this passionate plea.

The success of Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign was greatly influenced by political communication theories and ideas, the value of political authenticity, the effectiveness of grassroots mobilization, and the use of framing and emotional appeals in political communications. It enabled him to assemble a committed and powerful group of supporters who would further the cause of his campaign.


The Bernie Sanders campaign was excellent. Many of his fans, particularly young voters, progressives, and working-class Americans, passionately identified with the message of political revolution and economic justice that Sanders has preached for the majority of his life. The campaign made extensive use of social media and technology for communication, which had a positive impact on his target audience’s emotional appeal. Sanders and his campaign staff were able to grow a devoted network of followers who shared his message and wanted to see change in the areas he stressed change because to how the technology usage was built.

The campaign also made use of important political communication theories and ideas, such as the value of political authenticity, the effectiveness of grassroots organizing, and the function of framing in political communications. Sanders was able to build a significant grassroots base of support because the campaign concentrated all of its efforts on maintaining the sincerity and integrity of its message and procedures. They were also able to dynamically engage and organize followers thanks to the grassroots mobilizations (Lobera & Portos). Building supporters’ confidence and credibility was made easier by the campaign’s emphasis on authenticity and consistency in message (Xiang et al.). On the other hand, its focus on grassroots activism helped to engage and organize people in previously unheard-of ways. The way the campaign framed important problems, such economic inequality and healthcare, emphasized the need for radical change and posed a challenge to the current quo.

The difficulty Sanders had in winning over certain supporters, particularly those who belonged to minority groups, highlights the necessity for inclusion and diversity in political campaigns (Bullard, 82). The success that was had in gaining more followers, on the other hand, brought attention to the need of interaction with a variety of constituencies and groups.

The 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders was exceptional in many respects. Most significantly, it was effective in creating a sense of solidarity, community, and trust between supporters and the

They were broken up into many separate groups. Their willingness to step up and take on some of the responsibilities, like managing private communications, is proof of this. His followers grew as a result of his message’s constancy, which increased his reputation. The campaign is still used as an example for subsequent political campaigns.

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