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Tulsi Gabbard & Cory Booker Emerge as Winners of Democratic Debate in Google Trends

Tulsi Gabbard and Cory Booker emerged as winners of the first Democratic debate, according to Google Trends

Ben Gilbert Jun. 27, 2019, 10:43 AM

Democratic 2020 presidential candidates New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and former U.S. Rep. John Delaney participate in the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar
The first Democratic primary debate featured 10 of the 20 candidates running.
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  • On Wednesday night, 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates participated in the first debate of the 2020 election.
  • Though some candidates stood out more than others, there’s a way to get an idea which candidates provoked the strongest response from viewers, at least when it comes to online searches: Google Trends.
  • During the debate, interest in Julián Castro surged on Google Trends — but Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was one clear winner based on her relative spike in search traffic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The first debate of the 2020 US presidential campaign took place Wednesday night in Miami, and it featured 10 of the Democratic hopefuls.

With so many candidates vying for attention — 10 more candidates are scheduled to appear in a second debate Thursday night — it can be hard to know who voters were most interested in.

But Google Trends has two suggestions: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Google Trends of first 2020 US presidential debate (Democratic primary)

The little-known congresswoman from Hawaii saw the largest spikes in search traffic from Americans during Wednesday night’s debate. Booker had the second-largest spike, followed closely by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the highest-polling candidate who took the stage Wednesday.

The most searched candidate by volume was Booker, with Gabbard picking up second place. Interest in Booker was strongest in the southeastern US, while Gabbard dominated the rest of the country.

Google sent out a tweet ranking the candidates by searches during the debate:View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

GoogleTrends@GoogleTrends

Which #DemDebate candidate was most searched during the debate? Here’s the top 10:https://trends.google.com/trends/story/US_cu_o_FMW2oBAACFKM_en …31410:08 PM – Jun 26, 2019243 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

But those are far from the only data points from Google Trends that point to viewer response to Wednesday’s debate.

Interest in the former Obama cabinet official Julián Castro “spiked +2,400% in search” during the debate, according to Google Trends.

Google Trends also highlighted a Twitter thread comparing some of the candidates’ search traffic to an unrelated but popular subject: pizza. Interest in that particular food in the US was higher than it was for the four least-searched candidates for nearly the entire two-hour debate.

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