Don't mess.National Journal

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The 404 page primary is in full swing, and Bernie Sanders' early numbers are looking good.

The website of the 2016 presidential contender has a 404 page—the response that comes up for broken links—that perfectly sums up Sanders' style. The page features an 18-second video of Sanders himself talking directly to the camera.

"The good news is you're on the right website," Sanders, backdropped by a plain brick wall, tells visitors to the page. "The bad news is you're on the wrong page!"

In the no-nonsense, Brooklyn grandpa fashion that's come to epitomize the Vermont senator, who kicks off his presidential campaign Tuesday night in Burlington, Sanders directs visitors to "just scoot down to the bottom of the page" to find a working link. That earnest, hands-on digital style has become a hallmark of Sanders' longshot bid for the Democratic nomination. The 73-year-old is a popular fixture on Reddit, and his Facebook posts garner tens of thousands of likes.

As The New York Times found last week, he often thinks of the social media posts himself.

"Usually, it's in the shower where something pops into my head," Sanders told the Times, adding, "I play a very, very active role in writing, literally writing, what goes up there on Facebook."

Sanders' error message rivals that of Hillary Clinton, whose own 404 page, a vintage #tbt of the Clinton family with Donald Duck, debuted last month. On the Republican side, Marco Rubio appears to be the only declared candidate with a creative 404 page: Calling the error a fumble, his features a video of him giving a heartfelt pep talk to pee-wee football players.

In the Democratic primary, Clinton may be the frontrunner, but this latest social media gambit places Sanders at least neck and neck with her in the race to win the Internet.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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