Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, will use the speech to raise his profile as he tries to show his party that he is better suited to face a Republican next November than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the overwhelming frontrunner.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Sanders called Wednesday night’s event “the largest digital organizing event in the history of this country.”
The Sanders campaign estimates that its volunteers have organized more than 3,300 watch parties in homes, bars, and other venues across the U.S. Nearly 100,000 have RSVPed to these events, according to a map on the campaign’s website.
Although Sanders is the underdog in the battle for the Democratic nomination, he has drawn the largest crowds of any 2016 candidate as he barnstorms through Iowa, New Hampshire, and other early primary states. Clinton may be drawing most of the top tech talent who helped President Obama win two close elections, but Sanders isn’t far behind in the digital race—and his campaign sees the massive interest in the livestreamed speech as a reflection of his ability to fire up the progressive base as no other liberal candidate can.
“The most important thing is building a political movement in which millions of people who have given up on the political process, including a lot of young people, get involved,” Sanders told the Post.