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Who won Tuesday's GOP debate?

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While the pundits wade through the murky politics to find a winner, the instant data is crystal clear: Ben Carson had the biggest online boost from Tuesday night's GOP debate

Google's real-time search data shows that Carson, the former neurosurgeon who's effectively tied for first place in the race for the 2016 Republican nomination, generated the greatest number of searches during the two-hour debate—a key metric for interest among the American people. 

Donald Trump, who holds the tenuous front-runner position among GOP candidates, closely followed Carson, and he appears to have enjoyed the most significant spike in search activity from the debate performance. Trump also picked up interest in more states than Carson during the debate, Google found.

Trump, who has made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign from the beginning, also saw the most search traffic for that issue, according to Google.

On Twitter, however, the most popular tweets came not from GOP candidates, but two accounts that are often thorns in their sides: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the second-place Democratic presidential candidate, and The Daily Show, according to social-media analytics firm Spredfast.

Tuesday's debate, hosted by Fox Business, focused primarily on economic issues. As such, it's no surprise that the candidates' tax policies piqued the most interest among viewers. 

Carson and Trump weren't the only big search topics Tuesday night: Queries for “welding classes” spiked more than 1,000 percent after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) declared, “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.”

See? These guys are helping Americans gain marketable skills already.

Screenshot via Fox Business


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