The TV cameras have moved on, and the candidates have long since left the stage at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. With more than a year before Americans pick a new president and months before each party selects a nominee, here are five stats demonstrating the impact of Wednesday night’s Republican debate.
14.1% — Immigration’s share of all debate topics on social media
That’s third-best, behind Planned Parenthood (20.4%) and foreign policy (19.8%). However, immigration should have the most longevity as a campaign issue of the three. Planned Parenthood has been the target of recent sting "journalism" operations, and foreign policy was the focus of Wednesday night’s debate. (Stat source: Synthesio)
This could be a blessing for the eventual Democratic nominee. The further the eventual GOP standard bearer goes to the right on immigration, the more he or she alienates the growing Hispanic voting bloc. If 2012’s voter-turnout rules still apply next year, that could be fatal.
31.8% — Donald Trump’s share of social media buzz, broken down by candidate
Donald Trump led the pack with 31.8% of social media buzz by candidate, followed by Jeb Bush (12.9%), Ted Cruz (9.4%), Ben Carson (8.7%), and Rand Paul (8.3%).
On its face, that’s no surprise; the frontrunner is bound to be the center of attention. Yet those numbers also shine a light on the quickly fading candidacy of Scott Walker, once considered a co-frontrunner of sorts with Jeb Bush. Now, he’s off the radar. (Stat sources: Synthesio and The Washington Post).
22 — How many times Bush and Trump talked to each other
The conventional favorite and the insurgent frontrunner went at it more than any other candidates, with Trump talking to Bush 12 times, and the former Florida governor returning the favor 10 times, far more than any other combination. Unless another candidate -- Carly Fiorina is the most likely after her strong performance – surges to the top of the polls, expect the feud to continue. (Stat source: Washington Post).
-8% — The post-debate probability Trump will win the nomination
At the start of the debate, the real-estate mogul had a 20% chance of winning the Republican nomination, according to the Political Prediction Market by CNN and Pivit. That dropped to 12% by the end of the debate, giving him the biggest post-debate decrease. The runner up for that dubious distinction was Ohio Governor John Kasich, who failed to capitalize on the momentum he earned in debate number one and dropped five percentage points to 3%. (Stat source: CNN and Pivit).
6% — Marco Rubio’s rise
While Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Kasich dropped, Marco Rubio’s heartfelt and more optimistic performance gained him six percentage points in the same prediction market and made him the fifth candidate in double digits. He’s younger and more energetic than the other GOP candidates, and it shows. (Stat source: CNN and Pivit).
The most interesting group of stats are still to come: national and state polls taken after the debate, which will show how actual voters interpreted Wednesday night’s debate and set the stage for the coming weeks.
Frank Washkuch is news editor at PRWeek.