With the first two debates among the giant field of Democrats vying to take on President Trump behind us, pundits will no doubt spend weeks analyzing the candidates' every word to figure out who won. 

But if you're looking for a hot take on who came out on top, there's probably no better place to look that Google Trends, which captures viewers' reaction minute by minute as people across the country search for the candidates and issues that intrigue them most. 

So, according to what we were Googling, who won the debate? The Google Trends team helpfully spelled out the answer with a series of tweets about which candidates and issues drew the most interest. 

1. Kamala Harris dominated the second debate. 

While self-help guru turned long-shot presidential contender Marianne Williamson was the most googled of all the candidates during the second debate, that's probably because no one had any idea who she was before it and she said some wacky things

Coming in second, though, was Kamala Harris, who seemed to attract big interest for more substantive reasons, such as taking on Joe Biden's history of working with segregationists and stepping in with a zinger ("America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we're going to put food on their table.") to stop the debate descending into a shouting match. 

As you can see, interest in the California senator was both big and broad.

At one point Kamala Harris was actually the number one search term nationwide. 

2. Tulsi Gabbard was the breakout hit of the first night. 

How about the first debate? Corey Booker was the most searched of all the candidates 

But while the New Jersey senator clearly had a good night, the biggest shift might be for previously little discussed Tulsi Gabbard. These maps show which candidates people were searching before and after the debate. Green is good for Gabbard.   

Former Obama cabinet member Julian Castro also gets honorable mention. Searches for Castro spike 2,400 percent during the debate. 

3. People REALLY care about healthcare. 

As this neat data visualization shows, no matter what the candidates were talking about on stage, the issue that drew the most Google searches was healthcare. Given that Harvard found around 45,000 people die each year in America due to a lack of health insurance that's no huge surprise. 

4. Also, people are weirdly obsessed with candidates' heights. 

Political scientists tell us that the taller candidate usually wins. Which is bizarre and irrational (and not good news for those of us who would love to see a female president). But apparently this interest in height continues into 2019. Aren't there more important things to Google, America? 

Who do you think won the debates? 

Published on: Jun 28, 2019
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