An interesting aspect of the online conversation about the Bernie Sanders campaign is that everyone who is involved in that conversation is in this weird outlier subgroup of people who go online and talk about politics.
The biggest way I’ve seen this manifest itself is in the conversation about what black Americans think about Bernie Sanders. Based on the survey data available, it seems that black American support Sanders at significantly lower rates compared to other races, and that they are also significantly less well informed about Sanders. There also seems to be a correlation between increased information about Sanders and increased favorability and poll numbers among black American voters, just as there is with all other categories of voters. So this can end up being phrased as “black voters just need to learn about Sanders and they’ll support him”. And you know who that really, really makes mad? Well informed black Clinton-supporting internet goers. Consider what it is like to be such a person. Every day you go online and hear people saying that the only reason people like you support Clinton is that they don’t know about Bernie Sanders. You know all about Bernie Sanders, and against statistical likelihood, you support Hillary Clinton anyway. So this feels a lot like an insult to you. And it feels a lot like you are being told that your real reasons for believing what you believe, and those of everyone of your race, are nonexistent, and in fact your beliefs are based on ignorance and stupidity. So that’s not great for the conversation.