Can Bernie Sanders Beat Donald Trump at Texting? Not if Hillary Does First

Sometimes the medium is the message. Sometimes the message is just total nonsense.

by Kastalia Medrano
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Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spent yesterday watching poll numbers, speechifying, and tinkering with their respective political machines. What did that mean for New York voters? Lines at the polls, predictably dull CNN coverage, and so many damn text messages. The SMSs felt like SOSs as both candidates attempted to turn out the vote and then guide the vote to its nearest polling location. But which candidate did it best? Turns out the fight for New York’s phones was pretty lopsided.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton deservedly gets a hard time for the forced and awkward tenor of her media outreach, but when it comes to SMS, her texting team does it naturally. The number was easy to find, the message friendly and personalized, and the response the most prompt. It was also the easiest to use in the sense that you can just ask questions rather than inputting a secret mystery command you may or may not know. It makes you wonder why we don’t yet have candidate chatbots (next election cycle). We shouldn’t be surprised that Clinton’s team is embracing texting; did you really expect to receive substandard Texts From Hillary? I thought not:

Easy enough: Example correspondence from Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Kastalia Medrano

Bernie Sanders

Bernie supporters accosted me on my way both in and out of the subway this morning, but I’m not holding that against his SMS performance. He’s a close second, for being less personable and slightly less clear with the instructions. Still pretty efficient, though. He mostly gets second for the sort of sneaky element to his system; the tweet directing you to text this number doesn’t warn you it’ll also sign you up for alerts, and this poster doesn’t declare that it’s a Sanders number, not a general one.

In case this changed anyone's mind about volunteering.

Kastalia Medrano

Donald Trump

Trump is only third on this list because Cruz and Kasich were essentially no-shows. That said, the lack of competition here didn’t prevent Trump from failing. Here’s a fairly typical exchange. Kill me.

Please stop.

Kastalia Medrano

Ted Cruz

Cruz didn’t have an SMS operation and I was only able to speak to one woman on his campaign, a nice lady who didn’t have any information about texting but did direct me to a full mailbox that hung up on me. Cruz is only not last because he has apparently used SMS to campaign at least once in his life.

John Kasich

Kasich had nothing going on in the text department. Keep hoping for that contested convention, buddy!

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