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Bernie Sanders won the debate’s Google fight — in more ways than one

Here are the most talked-about exchanges between candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at MSNBC's Democratic debate in Durham, N.H., on Feb. 4. (Video: Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Usually on debate night, we track what people are searching for on Google as a way of assessing what people are curious about as the candidates tussle.

In that regard, Bernie Sanders eked out a narrow victory, getting more search attention both nationally and in New Hampshire, where it counts ahead of Tuesday's primary.

The biggest spike came once the debate was over. We've seen in the past that personal comments can drive search interest, so it's possible that part of this interest was spurred by curiosity about Sanders's immigrant father, mentioned in the candidate's closing statement.

What's particularly interesting, though, is what New Hampshirites want to know more about for each of the candidates. Google has a page dedicated to the debate, on which they list the five trending questions for both Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the state.

These are the top five questions for each:

1. How old is Hillary Clinton?
2. Who can beat Hillary?
3. Where is Hillary Clinton today?
4. Will Hillary win?
5. How much is Hillary Clinton worth?

Clinton is 68 years old, she's worth a lot of money, and today she was in New Hampshire. The other two questions are about if she can win and, if not, to whom she could lose.

Consider those questions in light of the questions people had about Bernie Sanders.

1. Where will Bernie Sanders be speaking?
2. Why Bernie Sanders?
3. Who would be Bernie Sanders' VP?
4. How to donate to Bernie Sanders
5. Where can I see Bernie Sanders in NH?

The first and fifth questions, like the question about where Clinton is, are for people to go hear from the candidate. "Why Bernie Sanders" is a question about why his candidacy should be considered.

But none of that matters once you get to No. 4. The fourth-most-Googled question about Bernie Sanders is how can I give him money.

Sanders has more than 3 million individual contributions from more than a million donors. He's taken in money at a faster pace than Barack Obama did in 2008 and in January outraised Clinton. Getting a voter to try and figure out how to give is a dream come true for any campaign. Having it trend on Google? Insane.

This is New Hampshire, the state where, no matter how the next few months unfold, Sanders will do better than almost any other. There are a lot of ways to explore the differences in the questions asked about Sanders and Clinton in New Hampshire, and getting more people interested in searching for more information in general is a win.

But there's no greater victory for a campaign than getting a voter to take action. In that regard, Sanders won by a mile.

See Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the MSNBC Democratic debate in New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, pose for a photo before debating at the University of New Hampshire Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Durham, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)