Donald Trump says this thing that sounds like “bigly.” As in, “in a big way,” though that's not a normal word. What exactly he's saying has been a subject of debate for a while; in September, Slate dived into the question. Is Trump saying “bigly”? Or is Trump saying “big league,” as his spokesperson told Slate and as he does sometimes on Twitter? (Including in the middle of a debate.)
Trump dropped a couple of bigly/big leagues into the debate on Wednesday night, and viewers — who perhaps haven't watched every single minute of the campaign to date — were curious. At one point, “bigly donald trump” was the fastest-rising Google search related to Trump's candidacy.
(There is an answer, by the way.)
— Tara McAllister Byun (@ByunLab) October 20, 2016
Google searches can offer some insight into what people want to learn more about during a debate. Say a candidate mentions his feud with a Supreme Court justice. People might roll over to Google to see exactly what that was all about. As they did when Trump mentioned critiques offered by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The most search interest of the night, though, was spurred by Hillary Clinton. When Trump again claimed that he had opposed the war in Iraq before it began, a claim that runs counter to the public record, Clinton suggested that people head to Google and see the evidence for themselves. They did.
The most popular Trump-related searches?
- donald trump iraq
- donald trump iraq war
- bigly donald trump
- donald trump iran
- trump iraq
- trump iraq war
- donald trump and iraq war
- justice ginsburg trump
- ginsburg trump
Clinton also mentioned that Trump hadn't released his tax returns, but that she had released hers. Her most popular searches? “hillary clinton tax returns” and variants.
You'll notice what doesn't really show up on those lists: policy positions. There are probably a few reasons for that, including that different people will be curious about different policy issues. Another is that people tend to take candidates at their word. You often need to know a policy well in order to know how to dig deeper. But also, policy is often boring. Debates over if a guy is saying “bigly" or “big league”? That's good stuff.