Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

Rain couldn't keep away hundreds of Georgetown University students on Thursday who waited hours outside for a chance to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explain his support for socialism.

The fervor to see the Vermont independent senator's major address wasn't surprising: Research shows that young people are much more likely than older people to support socialism.

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Socialism can mean different things to different people, and as NPR's Sam Sanders reports, that perception depends a lot on your age.

The numbers are in, and there's a clear consensus on who lost this week's Republican presidential debate, and in turn, who was this week's biggest political flop: "The Media."

Facebook says their top social moment of the debate was when Texas senator and presidential contender Ted Cruz criticized CNBC debate moderators and the questions they asked during the debate. Twitter also says that was the top moment on their network, as well the second when Florida senator Marco Rubio declared, "Democrats have their own SuperPAC, it's called the mainstream media."

There are certain weeks when one thing, one moment, one meme takes over the entire Internet. Like the week Beyonce's surprise album dropped. Or when Kim Kardashian and her derriere covered Paper Mag. Or when Alex From Target happened, whatever that was.

So far, Jeb Bush's presidential campaign has had some interesting — if not downright awkward — moments, multiple instances in which Bush was close to something exciting, or funny, or powerful, but then it just didn't work.

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And a mega-church near Dallas invited every presidential candidate, Democrat and Republican, to a forum on faith and politics yesterday. Six showed up. NPR's Sam Sanders was there too and has this report.

A few hours before the start of this week's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, the tweets started to pour in.

They all had the same, strange hashtag: #FeelTheChafe, a reference to the #FeelTheBern Bernie Sanders supporters were using to rally around their candidate. But it had a snarky twist for Lincoln Chafee, the former Rhode Island governor and senator, who's been, so far, a much less popular presidential candidate.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



A lot of politicians are being asked what to do about gun violence after a gunman killed nine people in Oregon last week. And the answers from the large field of Republican candidates for president are varied. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

You might have seen the article by now: " 'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens." The Onion, a satirical news site that runs fake news stories, has published a story with that headline three times over the last year and a half: this week after a shooter killed nine people at an Oregon community college; in June of this year after a violent rampage in a black Charleston church that also killed nine people; and last May, after a shooting at the University of California Santa Barbara that killed seven.

Twitter seems simple — just type in 140 characters and hit enter, right? But Twitter can be tough. Building an audience. Keeping that audience. Finding a voice. Cutting through all the chatter. It's a lot, especially if you're a busy elected official.

Well, elected officials, fear not! Twitter itself is here to help. NPR recently discovered that the social media giant has a very special handbook just for people running for elected office. And it's 136 pages long.

There's getting a little choked up. There's shedding a few tears. There's full-on crying. And then, there's John Boehner, American politics' crier-in-chief.

This week, (soon to be former) Speaker of the House Boehner's tear ducts stole the show yet again, definitely upstaging the Pope's little black Fiat and newly-named baby panda Bei Bei to become our #MemeOfTheWeek.

So, what happened?

Sometimes on the campaign trail candidates will say a thing that reveals something not just about them, but about the nation. One of those moments seems to have come over the issue of faith in presidential politics, after Ben Carson and Donald Trump each spoke about Muslims in America.

Sunday on NBC's Meet The Press, Carson was asked by host Chuck Todd what could have been a pretty innocuous question: Should your faith matter to voters?

Carson began his response, "Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is."

We knew going into this week that any meme we picked would be associated with this Wednesday's GOP debates at the Reagan Library. And because the Internet is consistently awesome, we weren't disappointed. This week, the meme we loved most was Vine-ification of this week's debates.

How'd We Pick This One?

Here's a riddle: Two senators and two governors walk into a presidential library. Where are they seated once they arrive?

Answer: The kids' table. Well, the kids' table DEBATE. That's what a lot of people have taken to calling the second-tier Republican presidential debates, those held for GOP contenders who haven't cracked the Top 10 in polls.