U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has registered a personal Twitch channel. The move comes in view of the 2020 United States presidential election, as the 77-year-old Senator seeks to reach out to previously untapped audiences. At the time of this writing, the Bernie Sanders Twitch channel has a little over 9,300 followers.
The new era of Twitch?
Sanders is not the first presidential candidate to seek support on Twitch. Another presidential hopeful—Andrew Yang—created his Twitch channel as early as last July. Sanders already has the upper hand follower-wise.
It’s no secret Sanders maintains a strong internet presence. Not only does he have a massive email list of avid supports going back to 2016, but volunteers and campaign staff members created dozens of online groups to spread news and represent Sanders’ views on the web. Live streaming seems to be the next logical step on this journey.
In the old days of Twitch, the idea of a major politician joining a gaming platform was almost unthinkable. Nowadays, it’s not as odd. The rise of other broadcast sections like “Art,” “Music & Performing Arts” and—most notably—“Just Chatting” introduced a much wider selection of content to Twitch audiences. IRL (or in-real-life) content has been gaining a lot of traction, which might be exactly what Sanders is looking to capitalize on.
For now, Sanders’ Twitch channel has yet to go live. It remains to be seen whether these efforts will end in success or failure, but it’s already clear they’ve exposed Sanders to an entirely new political audience.
This might be an even more significant change for Twitch. The site has evolved from an obscure gaming platform to a tool for political communication. And while mainstream attention isn’t always seen as a positive in the world of gaming, Twitch will almost certainly welcome it.
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