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It didn’t take long for Bernie Singles, the Ok Cupid for Bernie Sanders supporters, to find its place on the cultural map.Within days of its launch, its user base grew meteorically, crashing the site repeatedly thanks to the popularity and, indeed, novelty of the idea.
“So for me personally, Sanders really speaks to how myself and my family have struggled economically over the past decade or so.” A 30-something Brooklyn user named Jocelyn (who preferred not to use her real name) says she joined Bernie Singles after it popped up in her Facebook feed around 15 times.
So far he hasn’t reached out to anyone directly, but in browsing through the site and its users, he’s found the overall experience pretty refreshing.
“When membership is based off support for someone like Sanders, it seems to attract a certain kind of person, mainly progressive political junkies,” Winkworth says.
Maggie Calkins, a 20-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says she hasn’t been using the site to necessarily meet or date guys. “I basically joined to get more ideas on how to help Bernie and to also tell more people who support him to contact their state’s superdelegates,” Calkins explains.
“A few people have actually messaged me asking how to contact the superdelegates in their respective states.
Joshua Kaunert, one of Bernie Singles’ creators, tells GOOD that the site began life as a “campy idea” conceived on the Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash singles group on Facebook.
Kaunert says that this Facebook page, where users shared memes and support for Sanders, became a place for singles to mingle.She signed up only four days ago, but the number of events and chat rooms and the variety of users have impressed her.“Interactions I’ve had so far were very friendly, wittier than on your average dating site,” Jocelyn says.“Obviously we’ve got a lot of users on the site hailing from the Pacific Northwest, [and] I know a lot of people in Madison, Wisconsin, are using the site,” Fox says.“But in places where there aren’t a lot of Berners to begin with, the site’s a great tool just to find someone who—like [a Bernie Singles user] in a small town in Montana alluded to—isn’t trying to ‘Make America Great Again.’” Does being a Sanders supporter really signal a more fully developed sense of empathy, honesty, and concern for America? “Everyone is attracted intellectually to a certain degree,” Kaunert says.