There's a clear winner in the contest for most-viewed Donald Trump-related video over the course of the primary season. A clear winner that, as of writing, has been viewed nearly 9 million times, millions of those just since last October. YouTube (which is to say, Google) tracked viewership of videos related to the candidates over that time period, providing data on viewership to The Post.
That most popular video? This one, a 2011 tour of Trump's plane.
As political videos go, it's an interesting one — but of course, it's not a political video. That's part of the appeal, no doubt. It's just a tour of the classiest jet money can buy.
The airplane tour wasn't the most viral Trump video over the short term. That honor belongs to a video in which Trump attempts to rebut criticisms of his Trump University business program. The data from Google tallies views for the two weeks before and after a date, then identifies the top three videos on that date for each candidate. The Trump University video hit a peak of about 374,000 views around March 19; the highest the plane got was 307,000 in the same time period. But it was in the top three for 243 days, to the Trump U. video's 19.
By contrast, the most viral video featuring content related to Hillary Clinton was much more widely viewed — but less consistently. We'll get to that.
We wanted to focus on the types of videos for each candidate that were popular. So here are the 10 videos for each which got the most views in a single period according to Google's data. Some thoughts on the top 10 follow.
The most popular Clinton videos
1. "Speak" — Priorities USA
15 days in top three. Peak at 440,951 views around May 23.
Puts Trump's comments about women in the mouths of regular people.
2. "Is This Who We Want?" — Priorities USA
16 days in top three. Peak at 349,887 views around Mar. 23.
Contrasts foreign policy threats with Trump's declaration that he listens to himself on the issue.
3. "Her Fight" — Hillary Clinton
29 days in top three. Peak at 277,051 views around Dec. 16.
Outlines Clinton's efforts to expand health care.
4. "Sick Of It" — Hillary Clinton
33 days in top three. Peak at 241,583 views around Oct. 24.
Clinton decries Republican efforts to restrict abortion.
5. "Admit" — Hillary Clinton
19 days in top three. Peak at 201,167 views around Oct. 17.
Hits Republicans for politicizing Benghazi hearings.
6. "Real Life" — Hillary Clinton
33 days in top three. Peak at 162,224 views around Mar. 20.
Celebrities talk about being strong women.
7. "Brave" — Hillary Clinton
19 days in top three. Peak at 160,172 views around Feb. 23.
A snippet of a town-hall meeting in which Clinton comforts a girl who is worried about her parents being deported.
8. "Paygap" — Hillary Clinton
28 days in top three. Peak at 153,390 views around Nov. 16.
Snippet of Clinton speech talking about the gap in pay by gender.
9. "Mean Tweets" — Hillary Clinton
Six days in top three. Peak at 140,679 views around Feb. 26.
Sen. Al Franken reads tweets he received after endorsing Clinton.
10. "300" — Hillary Clinton
27 days in top three. Peak at 133,351 views around Jan. 17.
Contrasting average incomes to CEO pay.
The most viral Trump videos
1. "Trump University Truth" — Donald Trump
19 days in top three. Peak at 374,431 views around Mar. 19.
Features Trump explaining fraud allegations against Trump University.
2. "Mr. Trump's 757" — Trump, Inc.
243 days in top three. Peak at 306,927 views around Mar. 16.
A tour of Trump's plane from 2011.
3. "How to Caucus Iowa" — Donald Trump
16 days in top three. Peak at 209,534 views around Jan. 23.
Explains how to caucus in Iowa.
4. "My Dad" — Donald Trump
26 days in top three. Peak at 103,635 views around Mar. 16.
Donald Trump Jr. explains why his father should be elected president.
5. "Donald Trump ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" — Trump Inc.
230 days in top three. Peak at 97,461 views around May 15.
Trump takes the ice bucket challenge in 2014.
6. "Clear Difference" — Donald Trump
10 days in top three. Peak at 74,079 views around Jan. 26.
Trump hits Ted Cruz on immigration.
7. "Corrupt Marco" — Donald Trump
Three days in top three. Peak at 69,104 views around Mar. 22.
Trump hits Marco Rubio on his spending while in the Florida statehouse.
8. "Ivanka Trump — Find Your Iowa Caucus Location" — Donald Trump
16 days in top three. Peak at 58,769 views around Feb. 16.
Trump's daughter Ivanka explains how to caucus for Trump.
9. "Donald Trump Presidential Announcement" — Donald Trump
133 days in top three. Peak at 50,131 views around Mar. 6.
Trump's announcement speech in full.
10. "How to Caucus Nevada" — Donald Trump
Nine days in top three. Peak at 36,390 views around Feb. 25.
Trump's daughter Ivanka explains how to caucus for Trump in Nevada.
The top two videos related to Clinton were from her super PAC, hammering Trump. The other eight were all from the campaign, many highlighting her appeal to women, some hitting Trump for various reasons.
By contrast, Trump's most popular videos — which were much less popular — largely focused with the mechanics of voting or predated the election. Three videos dealt with the process for caucusing (two of them in Iowa, where Trump fared worse than expected). The most consistently popular were the airplane video and Trump's ice bucket challenge video.
This is a traditional campaign running against someone who offers nothing of the sort. The video that saw the biggest short-term spike for Trump, after all, was one in which he was rebutting an attack made against him, which is Rule No. 1 in the what-not-to-do handbook of political communications. Trump didn't run many traditional ads, and rarely engaged in the time-honored practice of rebutting criticism with a quick video snippet that could be shared easily online.
But it didn't matter at all. The Trump University video has been seen one-eighteenth as often as the one of the plane. And if your goal as a president is to suggest that your history of business success is how you'll make America great again, it's an awfully effective ad.