Americans Forced To Choose Between Dem Debate And “Scandal”

Can Bernie Sanders possibly compete with Kerry Washington?

Feb 11, 2016 at 11:32 PM ET

A fierce showdown took place on television screens and Twitter feeds all over this great nation Thursday night. No, not the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but that between the real-life sparring of the Democratic debate and the not-real-but-great world of Olivia Pope.

The mid-season premier of Scandal kicked off at 9 pm, just as Sanders and Clinton were taking the debate stage in Milwaukee—causing conflict in the heart of America. The race was close at times, but America surprised us in the end: Interest in real politics beat out interest in televised politics. A Vocativ analysis found that in the hour that Scandal aired, there was triple the online chatter about the debate. To quote one Twitter user (and Blink-182), “I guess this is growing up.”

Lots of viewers nonetheless found the timing a little unfortunate: Scandal is a beloved TV show, particularly popular among women and black television viewers. Those demographics are of particular interest among the two Democrats running, with Sanders working to increase his appeal among black voters, and Clinton disappointed by the number of young women who voted for her opponent in the New Hampshire primary.

Jokes aside, it is a crucial time for the former Secretary of State, coming off the heels of a New Hampshire sweep by Bernie Sanders with the South Carolina primary just weeks away. Despite having maintained support among black voters with a recent endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Clinton faces a storied past with the demographic and mounting high profile support from prominent black activists like Killer Mike and Erica Garner in Sanders’ corner.