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Berners could put Jill Stein in the debates

Jill Stein

Jill Stein ran in 2012, but this could be her most successful year yet. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Since Senator Bernie Sanders officially endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, he left his supporters with an important decision: shift allegiance to Clinton, join the Donald Trump train, or vote for presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Who's Stein? She supports many of the same ideals as Sanders: healthcare as a human right, a $15/hr living wage, and free public college. She also wants to completely cancel student debt and slash the military budget by 50%.

After Sanders endorsed Clinton, Stein's campaign donations skyrocketed 1,000%--with over $80,000 received in only 24 hours. Stein says Berners are flocking to her:

"There’s been an explosion of Berners coming in through every portal of the campaign, and it’s really exciting. There is so much courage out there to stand up to the marching orders handed down by the usual suspects."

Her presence on social media has also rapidly expanded in recent weeks. Stein's Facebook account has grown by more than 44,000 likes in a week and her Twitter now captures over 145,000 followers. Her social growth only continues to exponentially rise.

Major social publishers, such as AJ+ and NowThis, have also run viral stories on the Green Party nominee:

Jill Stein

A Jill Stein campaign poster from 2012. (niXerKG/Flickr)

Jill Stein's one big obstacle: The national debates.

If Stein can reach 15% in national polls, she will join Clinton and Trump in the debates ahead. She is optimistic that if she can communicate her message to a national TV audience, she will have a real chance in November.

A poll from mid-June put Stein at 7% and she currently averages at 3.4%.

But following Sanders' endorsement of Clinton this week, it looks more possible that Stein's numbers could jump.

Instead of following Sanders in his endorsement of Clinton, many of his supporters have said they will vote for values. And by values, they mean Stein.

So far, Stein has secured her spot on the ballot in 23 states and Washington DC, and is currently petitioning for signatures in 27 others. She is confident that her name will be on "90 to 95 percent" after petitioning.

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Berners could put Jill Stein in the debates

Christina Buff

Christina is a freelance writer from a tiny town in Southern Maryland who just can't seem to figure out whether others are being sarcastic or not. She has a degree in business communication, with a focus in writing, from Stevenson University, and has written things for Severna Park Voice, Maryland Film Festival, The Villager, and Hello Giggles. Follow her on twitter @tinaBUFF where she constantly overthinks her tweets, or read her medley of musings at touchinfinity.wordpress.com.

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