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These Are the Most Talked About Democratic Presidential Candidates

The third Democratic debate is upon us. And while the number of candidates appearing on the debate stage has been winnowed down to just 10, some 2020 presidential candidates’ lights are shining just a little brighter than others when it comes to piquing voters’ interest.

According to new data from SEMrush, an online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform, the most talked about candidate is not necessarily the one polling highest.

Many polls put former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders at the top of the pack, but SEMrush found that businessman Andrew Yang was the most Googled in August. Voters are Googling Yang 170% more than Biden. Searches for the candidate have grown 191% since April.

But Biden isn’t faring half bad either. Biden and Warren round out the top three most-searched candidates. More people Googled these three candidates than all the other candidates who will be appearing at Thursday’s debate combined. Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg were the least searched. Buttigieg previously held the title Yang now possesses, but searches for him have fallen 70% in the past five months.

Twitter paints a slightly different picture. Sanders is the most-talked-about candidate on the social network and takes this title with former Rep. Beto O’Rourke over the past two weeks. Sanders was mentioned more times than Biden, Buttigieg, Warren, Castro, and Sen. Cory Booker combined. These five candidates represent the least talked about on Twitter.

Yang is also performing fairly well on Twitter. He is tweeted about 1.4 times more often than Biden—once again despite his poorer showings in the polls.

But past debates tell us that a candidate’s debate performance—or just a zinger or two—can change these figures and the polls. Sen. Kamala Harris’ strong appearance at the first debate translated not just into a jump in the polls, but also a spike in Google searches for her name. They increased 233% between May and June. 

This is something Klobuchar might want to keep in mind Thursday evening, as she’s consistently one of the least Googled and talked about candidates on Twitter.

It’s anyone’s game.

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—Houston hopes Thursday’s Democratic debate at historically black university drives conversation
Will gaffes hurt Biden’s chances of a 2020 win? Strategists are divided
—These are the 2020 senate races to watch
—Is Biden preparing to lose in Iowa? His campaign says the caucus isn’t a must-win
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