GoogleTrends showed Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE (D-Hawaii) as the most-searched candidate of Wednesday night’s Democratic debate after entering the event in Miami as a relative unknown.
Map: before and after the #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/7y3iNoJR1N
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) June 27, 2019
Ahead of the debate, which was the first of two featuring 20 Democratic White House hopefuls, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) was the most searched candidate of the 10 hopefuls who would appear on stage on Wednesday, while Gabbard was the fourth-most searched. Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.) and former Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) were second and third, respectively.
During the debate, Gabbard moved into the top most-searched spot, followed by Booker.
Warren, who has been steadily climbing in the polls in recent weeks, was third most searched during the event.
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Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, is polling at just 0.8 percent in the RealClearPolitics index of polls while trailing front-runner former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE by more than 31 points.
Gabbard’s most visible moment of the evening came in an exchange with rival Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanMinnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen Congress must fill the leadership void Pelosi pushes to unite party on coronavirus bill despite grumbling from left MORE (D-Ohio) after he said the Taliban was behind the 9/11 attacks.
“The reality of it is if the United States is not engaged, the Taliban will grow. And we will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts, we have got to have some presence there,” Ryan said of needing a military presence in Afghanistan.
Gabbard disputed his plan, saying that the Taliban “was there long before we came in and will be there long after we leave. We cannot keep U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan thinking that we are going to somehow squash this Taliban.”
“I didn’t say squash them,” Ryan pushed back. “When we weren’t in there they started flying planes into our buildings.”
“The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11. Al Qaeda did,” Gabbard said before they talked over one another.
Gabbard emerged as the top-searched candidate despite having the third-lowest amount of speaking time, clocking in at just over 6 minutes for the nearly two-hour event.
Booker had the most speaking time at 10 minutes and 35 seconds, followed by O’Rourke with 10 minutes and 15 seconds. Warren clocked in at just over 9 minutes.
The second night of the Democratic debate is slated for Thursday. It will feature Biden and other top-tier candidates Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D) and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), along with six other hopefuls.