The most talked about candidate of the debate was Bernie Sanders — by a long shot

Sen. Bernie Sanders
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Say what you want about Bernie Sanders, but nothing quite gets people talking like the 74-year-old senator from Vermont — not even the reigning king of Google searches, Donald Trump. Even though Trump was actively live-tweeting the Democratic debate on Tuesday, Sanders massively outpaced him in queries on the search engine.

But more significant than dethroning Trump was that Sanders piqued more interest than any of the other Democrats on stage, with searches and mentions spiking almost every time he opened his mouth, The Washington Post reports. The top searches, however, might not have been what Sanders' campaign was hoping for: "Bernie Sanders age," "How old is Bernie Sanders?" and "Is Bernie Sanders Jewish?" were all top questions.

Even so, the interest in the "democratic socialist" was undeniable across social media: Sanders had the most mentions on Facebook and, especially, Twitter, where he thoroughly crushed his opposition. According to Good Morning America, Sanders gained more than twice the number of followers earned by Clinton during the debate, and more than 10 times as many as the most lukewarm candidate on social media, Jim Webb.

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While a Gallup poll in June showed that electing a "socialist" president was less appealing to the American public than the possibility of electing a woman, a Muslim, a gay or lesbian, an evangelical Christian, or an atheist, you know what they say: Times, they are a changin' — at least if the internet is any indicator.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.