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Ken Bone: The real winner of the second presidential debate?

Last Updated Oct 10, 2016 6:39 PM EDT

Social media users have spoken and reached a verdict on the real winner of Sunday’s second presidential debate hosted by Washington University: Ken Bone, whose power outfit and demeanor captivated American viewers.

Mr. Bone was one of several uncommitted audience members who posed a question to the presidential candidates in a town-hall style debate, asking Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?”

Maybe it was the monosyllabic first and last name. Or maybe it was simply the sweet red sweater. Tweeters couldn’t resist him. 

In an interview with CNN, Ken Bone admitted that it was a last-minute fashion crisis that helped him rise to internet stardom.

“I had a really nice olive suit that I love a great deal and my mother would have been very proud to see me wearing on television, but apparently I’ve gained about 30 pounds, and when I got into the car the morning of the debate, I split the seat of my pants wide open,” he said to CNN’s Carol Costello.

Ken Bone: The REAL winner of the debate by CNN on YouTube

Upon hearing this news, someone even went as so far to set up a “Go Fund Me” page to raise money so that Bone could buy a new olive suit.

Bone also detailed the unexpected impact of his appearance on Sunday night’s debate. He said, “I went from, last night, having seven Twitter followers, two of which were my grandmother...to now, I have several hundred,” he said. “And I don’t know why they care what I have to say, but I’m glad they’re engaged in the political process.”

“Several hundred” underestimates the number -- as of Monday afternoon, he had 15.2 thousand new followers, and he’s answering tweets like this one.

In fact, people are so captivated by his affable presence that some have expressed an aspiration to be more like Bone, paying tribute to his good-natured spirit on social media. His red sweater, which appears to be an Izod cable solid 1/4 zip sweater in red dahlia began selling like crazy. On Amazon.com Monday afternoon, there were only two left in stock -- in XXL. A Ken Bone Facebook fan page and parody Twitter handle have also been recently created.

This is an official fan page for Kenneth Bone, a wonderful man who asked a question in the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on October 9, 2016. Just look at that stache.

Posted by Kenneth Bone on Sunday, October 9, 2016

And after the debate he showed America that he’s just like us, snapping pictures of memorable moments...and then posting the video of himself snapping photos at the debate on Vine.

  • Julia Boccagno

    Julia Boccagno is a news associate for CBS News.