The packed Democratic field’s consecutive nights of debates finished with unlikely winners. Biden, Sanders, Harris, and Warren are currently seen as the heavy frontrunners. However, two underdogs outperformed them: Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard.
Williamson and Gabbard were the surprising winners, as they were the most searched candidates on their respective debate nights. Gabbard was the most searched in all 50 states, and Williamson led all states but one.
Top searched #DemDebate candidates during the debate.
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) July 31, 2019
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) August 1, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard is a Representative from Hawaii and also a combat veteran. Gabbard was also the most searched candidate during the first round of debates. She owes much of her success last night to her attack on front-runner Kamala Harris. Harris has been praised for her debate skills, but those skills did not save her in this last debate.
— Current Affairs (@curaffairs) August 1, 2019
Gabbard attacked Harris for her record as a prosecutor in California. Gabbard’s attacks had a couple of key jabs. Gabbard first attacked Harris’s record on marijuana:
There are too many examples to cite, but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,
Gabbard continued the attacks by saying that Harris
blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so… She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep the cash bail system in place. That impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.
The clip of the attack went viral and has received millions of views.
Marianne Williamson winning her debate was met with horror in the media. Vox.com wrote an article titled, Marianne Williamson isn’t funny. She’s scary, while Los Angeles Times published the article, Opinion: Marianne Williamson won the debate and we’re probably all doomed.
Williamson is a breed of candidate that has never been seen before. She is an author and activist who wants to “harness love” to beat Trump.
One of her quotes during the debate that received the most applause was:
If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.
Williamson is one of a kind. This is so much so that Republicans are donating to her campaign in order to keep her in the debates.
These two candidates leading in Google searches doesn’t necessarily translate to rising in the polls. It does, however, keep them relevant in a packed democratic field. With over 20 candidates it is vital to stay relevant and receive media attention. Trump dominated every news platform in 2016, so leading in Google searches isn’t nothing.