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Who won Saturday night’s GOP debate?

The stats are overwhelming.


Andrew Couts


The most heated Republican presidential debate of the 2016 election has a clear winner, according to real-time Internet metrics.

Donald Trump dominated the online conversation Saturday night, raking in the most Twitter followers, generating the most Google searches, and sparking the most talked-about moments of the CBS News debate.

While other candidates on the stage, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), had spikes in their search traffic, Trump managed to overwhelm his competition in all 50 states.

Of course, Trump had an advantage, given that he was the most searched candidate before the debate began, too.

Trump made it a point to go after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush all night long, but his biggest moment—in fact, according to Twitter data, the biggest moment—came when he called out Jeb’s brother, former President George W. Bush, for not stopping the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The second and third most-tweeted moments also belonged to Trump, who took jabs at Cruz and (of course) Jeb Bush.

The interest in Trump’s barrage of on-stage attacks may include a hefty portion of criticism and mockery from all political stripes, but it’s also helped Trump gain a whole new batch of followers.

Saturday night’s debate, held in Greenville, South Carolina, comes just seven days before voters in that state head to the polls for the South Carolina Republican primary on Feb. 20.

Trump, who was booed by the debate audience for his attacks throughout the event, currently holds an 18.5 point lead over his nearest rival.

Screenshot via CBS News

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