IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

These are the candidates and topics lighting up Google

This is what people are searching for in advance of Wednesday's Republican debate.
A Donald Trump supporter uses her phone as the billionaire arrived at his \"Make America's Military Great Again\" rally, held aboard the retired USS Iowa battleship, in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC)
A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump uses her phone as the billionaire arrived at his \"Make America's Military Great Again\" rally, held aboard the retired USS Iowa battleship, in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 15, 2015.

The three GOP candidates that people are most curious about have one characteristic in common: None are career politicians. 

Real estate mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina logged the most online searches of all the Republican presidential candidates, according to new data released by Google Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Is the debate stage hiding home-field advantages?

The data ranks the candidates by most searched, the issues that are searched most in connection with each candidate’s name, and the top questions asked about each candidate. It also shows which names and issues that were searched for the most during the first debate.

After the first Republican debate on Aug. 6, Google searches shifted to different candidates and their positions on new issues.

By the end of the main debate last month, Trump, Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Rand Paul were pulling in the most searches. With relation to the candidates, the topics of education, taxes, and abortion garnered the greatest number of searches. 

Bush and former Gov. Mike Huckabee trailed Trump, Carson, and Fiorina in terms of search frequency.

The increased searches of Fiorina are likely a result of her clash with Republican front-runner Trump. The former Hewlett-Packard executive, who did not make the cut for the first debate, was the recent focus of one of Trump’s attacks. She responded to his remarks about her face and no one voting for “that” with a video instructing voters to look at her face as the only Republican woman running for president.

RELATED: The top 4 things the GOP won’t tell you about Ronald Reagan

Carson has likely maintained his position as a top search because of his rise to second place in multiple polls, as well as Trump's attacks on his qualifications for the White House.

As a result of these back-and-forth exchanges with opponents, two of the top issues searched with Trump’s name are Carson and Fiorina. Tonight’s debate may address some of these disputes between Trump and other candidates. Fiorina has already vowed that Trump will be hearing from her.

The most frequently searched issues with each of the candidates are immigration, Kim Davis and abortion — all of which will likely be main topics of debate tonight.


Trump remains one of the most vocal candidates on this topic, reminding everyone at nearly every opportunity about his plans to deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall along the border. He is on the extreme side of the immigration debate and will likely bump heads with other candidates on the stage who are more moderate.

Most recently, Bush released a campaign video in which he speaks Spanish while his Mexican-American wife speaks English. He declared in the ad, “Todos Somos Americanos” (We Are All Americans). With the message, Bush attempted to show that, while he advocates for immigration reform, he does not agree with Trump regarding policies like birthright citizenship, which Trump has said should end. 

Kim Davis and gay marriage

Kim Davis and gay marriage are among the top five issues searched for with all the candidates except former New York Gov. George Pataki.

Not surprisingly, Davis is the top search with Huckabee’s name, as he has shown the most obvious support for her by appearing at a rally with her. He even offered to go to jail in her place. Huckabee's close involvement with this issue is also probably the reason he is among the top candidates searched.

Other candidates who have shown support for Davis are Sen. Ted Cruz, Former Sen. Rick Santorum, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Paul.


Abortion remains a frequent search topic with all the candidates except Graham, Jindal, Pataki, and Trump. Planned Parenthood is likely to be a hot-button issue of the debate given the threat by some Republicans, including Cruz, to shutdown the government if Congress does not agree to defund the organization.

Other buzz-worthy topics that could get a turn on the debate stage Wednesday night include the Iran nuclear deal, the economy, healthcare and gun control.