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Viewers of the US vice presidential debate may have been surprised to see a third contender on stage: a persistent fly which refused to budge from VP Mike Pence’s head, prompting many to proclaim the insect as the night’s victor.

Though the candidates were separated by plexiglass shields during Wednesday night’s debate amid fears of Covid-19, the precautions were no match for the intrepid fly, which was seen camping atop Pence’s head for several minutes while he and Senator Kamala Harris traded barbs on stage.

Just a full minute of a fly on Pence’s head: pic.twitter.com/PjmoXDHdgV

With a far less contentious debate than the first contest between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the fly quickly stole the show, becoming the most discussed topic of the night and dominating the Twitter trends.

Countless netizens from all political persuasions rallied behind the fly’s strong showing, many handing it a high ranking in the debate over its human competitors.

The fly absolutely won the debate hands down 😎 But @KamalaHarris was a close second 🙏 Also, these moderators need to be replaced with drill sergeants with cattle prods & pepper ball guns ⚡️ #Debates2020pic.twitter.com/yAWVhm2LTW

Pence won, the fly came in second, Kamala came in a distant third

Gee, what a surprise: Fox News says Pence won. MSNBC says Harris won. Twitter says the fly.

Biden wasted no time before enlisting the fly to work on behalf of his campaign, sharing an image of himself wielding a fly swatter with a punny caption.

Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly. https://t.co/CqHAId0j8tpic.twitter.com/NbkPl0a8HV

Providing a rare moment of unity in American politics, the fly has brought together the most vocal opponents and supporters of the Donald Trump administration, putting conservative activists on the same page as Antifa, who both voiced support for the insect

The fly on Mike Pence’s head is anti-fascist pic.twitter.com/H07vYsGp5W

Rankings for the Debate: 1. Pence2. The Fly3. The 8th grader … 99. Kamala

With its newfound celebrity, the insect soon had his own Twitter handle – a swarm of them, in fact –  while some joked it had “totally gone Hollywood,” already letting the fame go to its head.

George Soros sent me, btw pic.twitter.com/99MRjTGSNg

BREAKING: The VP debate fly already has representation, has his own shoe line, has totally gone Hollywood and has been romantically linked to an undisclosed Kardashian. Scheduled to appear on The View and Ellen on Thursday. #VPDebate2020pic.twitter.com/SKhsxUG4SF

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