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The Snapchat Elections Begin With Bernie, Hillary and Jeb

Doing what the kiddies do.

In 2008, it was the Google election. 2012 was Twitter’s turn as the campaign centerpiece. Facebook populism rang in the 2014 midterms.

And now, as 2016 approaches, prepare for the presidential politics of Snapchat.

Enter Bernie Sanders, the lefty, 73-year-old Democratic contender chasing Hillary Clinton in the polls. On Friday, the honorable Independent senator from Vermont made his debut on the mobile app (though judging from his expression, he doesn’t look entirely comfortable with the medium yet).

Politicians since time immemorial have done their glad-handing where the voters are. And the young voters are on Snapchat. Sanders is following behind Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, both of whom have made cameos in Snapchat’s “2016” curated stories since announcing their elections.

Sanders’s press team told Re/code a Snapchat representative in Cedar Rapids met with Sanders, took the picture and added it to Snapchat’s public story for the election. The Sanders team is considering whether they want to create a Snapchat account for the Senator’s social media strategy. According to Snapchat, neither Clinton nor Bush has created their own accounts yet so their pictures and video were submitted by their staffers or users on the campaign trail. Scott Walker, on the other hand, does have his own account.

The platforms, for their part, are game to help the pols out, particularly when ample campaign advertiser dollars are at play. In May, Snapchat poached Rob Saliterman, a four-year veteran of Google’s political ad sales and former George W. Bush operative, to lead its own GOP efforts. A month later Snapchat ran its first ever political ad — a 10-second spot, paid for by a nonprofit affiliated with House Republicans.

Of course, money also flows the other way. But, sorry Bernie. So far, Silicon Valley’s campaign cash is mostly going to Clinton.

Additional reporting by Carmel DeAmicis.

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