Skip to Content

Here’s How Donald Trump Still Won Last Night’s Debate

Even without turning up for the actual Republican debate on Thursday night, Donald Trump still dominated all chatter on social media.

On Twitter (TWTR), Donald Trump dominated 36% of all traffic on the social media site during the debate, the company said. That outstripped the combined percentages of fellow GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and happened in spite of his decision to boycott the debate over the presence of Fox News host Megyn Kelly as one of the moderators.

The story was much the same on Google (GOOG), where Trump was the most searched-for candidate during the debate. Google, who partnered with Fox as debate co-sponsors, released an interactive graphic that showed Trump as the leader in online searches throughout the debate.

However, Trump’s traction on Twitter did pale in comparison to his numbers during the preceding GOP debate on Jan. 14, which he attended. Trump’s Twitter mentions during this debate, which stood at roughly 130,000, was an estimated 40,000-tweet decline from the previous debate, according to social media monitoring company Brandwatch, and as reported by Reuters.

Trump’s social media muscle bodes well for him as the party enters voting in its first caucus in Iowa on Monday. Currently, Trump leads all candidates in the latest national polling, while a Quinnipiac University poll finds Trump and Cruz in a two-man race among likely Republican caucus-goers.