After presidential debates, there’s always talk of who “won” the night. Who had the best zingers? Who laid out their policy positions the best? Who made the best joke?
But there’s another way to judge the winner: social media. These metrics sound less interesting but are far less subjective: Who gained the most Facebook followers? And whose Twitter got the most action? Who did people search on Google?
According to a report from CrowdTangle, one candidate who emerged on top across a variety of online categories wasn’t even on the stage. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump live-tweeted the entire debate, making him the winner for both the biggest Facebook post and tweet of the night:
But just focusing on the Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders did the best online. Former Secretary of State Clinton made the best Instagram of the night, which she posted of her podium before the debate even began:
Vermont Sen. Sanders gained the most Facebook followers by far (including Trump and the other Republicans), garnering more than 35,000 new Likes to his page. Next up was Clinton, who got over 18,000 new followers.
And Sanders also was also the top-searched candidate on Google during the debate, according to data provided by the search engine, followed by Clinton, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and finally former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
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