Hillary Clinton’s ‘damn emails’ help Bernie Sanders win #DemDebate on Twitter

As was the case during the first two Republican presidential debates, millions of viewers of the Democratic debate took to social media to share their reactions — and for Twitter and Facebook users, it was unanimous: The buzziest moment was when Bernie Sanders declared that the American people are “sick and tired of hearing about” Hillary Clinton’s “damn emails.”

Slideshow: First Democratic Debate >>>

According to Twitter data, Sanders’ “damn” assertion — and Clinton’s decision not to respond to former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee on the subject — was the most-tweeted-about moment of Tuesday’s debate. It was also the top social moment of the debate on Facebook, according to data released by the social network.

Chafee’s wobbly explanation for why he voted in 1999 to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act (“I just arrived at Senate — I think we get some take-overs”) was the second most-tweeted moment, followed by Sanders’ zinger about the stranglehold big banks have on Washington (“Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress”).

Sanders edged Clinton in terms of Twitter mentions, capturing 41 percent of the “debate conversation” to Clinton’s 39 percent. Not surprisingly, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (9 percent), former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (6 percent) and Chafee (5 percent) struggled to make inroads, at least in tweets.

Sanders also had the most retweeted debate tweet of the night among the Democratic candidates.

But Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who was live-tweeting the Democratic debate, had the most retweeted message of any presidential hopeful.

According to Facebook, 4.2 million U.S. users were engaged during the debate, accounting for more than 10 million debate-related likes, posts, comments and shares.

Sanders’ popularity in his home state was also apparent, according to Facebook:

Most engaged states during #DemDebate

1. Vermont
2. New Hampshire
3. Maryland
4. Rhode Island
5. Virginia
5. Nevada (tied)


Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton take part in the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, it appears more people streamed CNN’s Democratic debate than the last Republican contest.

According to CNN, there were about 980,000 concurrent streams of the Democratic debate at its peak, compared with the 921,000 during last month’s GOP debate.

And according to Nielsen, Twitter activity during CNN’s Democratic debate was roughly the same as it was during the Republican debate.

About 8.9 million people in the U.S. saw one or more of the 2.8 million tweets sent about the Democratic debate, Nielsen said.

• In the U.S., tweets about the event were sent by 584,000 people and seen more than 325 million times.
• The most tweeted minute of the night was at 9:50 p.m. ET when 33,500 tweets were sent following Bernie Sanders’ comment about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
• The top mentioned candidate of the night was @BernieSanders, who was mentioned in 233,200 tweets around the TV event.

During the “CNN Republican Debate,” 9 million people in the U.S. saw one or more of the 2.5 million tweets sent.

• In the U.S., tweets about the TV event were sent by 563,000 people and seen more than 314 million times.
• The most tweeted minute of the night was at 9:08 p.m. ET when 16,900 tweets were sent following Carly Fiorina’s response to Donald Trump’s previous comments about her appearance.
• The most discussed candidate of the night was Donald Trump, who was mentioned in 205,000 tweets around the TV event.