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Bernie Sanders had a big Tuesday night on Twitter.
The Vermont senator was the most-mentioned candidate during the first Democratic debate on CNN with more than 233,000 Tweets including his Twitter handle, according to Nielsen’s Twitter TV data. Twitter also anointed his tweet about the moment that he told fellow candidate Hillary Clinton that “the American people are sick of hearing about your damn emails” the most-retweeted candidate tweet of the night. As of Wednesday morning, that tweet has been retweeted more than 12,600 times.
Sanders’ Twitter success came in part due to his decision to pay to promote the hashtag #DebatewithBernie during the debate, according to the Wall Street Journal. By promoting the hashtag, it appeared as the top trending topic for anyone using Twitter in the U.S. WSJ also reports that Sanders promoted several of the tweets sent from his official Twitter account during the Oct. 13 debate.
Overall, the Democratic debate generated 2.8 million Tweets that were seen more than 325 million times. That was no match for the first Republican debate, which generated 3.3 million tweets seen more than 393 million times when it aired live on Fox on Aug. 6. But it did best the second Republican debate, which incited 2.5 million total tweets when it was broadcast live on CNN on Sept. 16.
The top moment of the Democratic debate on Twitter came when Sanders joked about Clinton’s emails. The comments, made at 9:50 p.m. ET, generated 33,500 tweets per minute.
On television, the debate brought in 15.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, the best rating yet for a Democratic debate.
Oct. 14 2:50 p.m. Updated to clarify Bernie Sanders’ Twitter mentions.
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