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7 charts that explain the third Republican debate

It's hard to find a clear, dominant contender in the third Republican debate — no matter how you splice the numbers.

Carly Fiorina, for example, spoke the most out of all the candidates — nearly a full minute longer than anyone else.

How long each candidate spoke

But then if you look at whom the candidates talked about, Fiorina disappears. Not a single other contender mentioned her. Instead, it's Trump (unsurprisingly) and Christie (more surprisingly) who got the most name checks from their fellow contenders.

The same story shows up when you take a longer view and look at all three Republican debates. There, you can see that Trump is mentioned more during the debates than all other candidates. The only names that come up more? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

One way last night was different was in how candidates talked about Trump. In the previous debates, they had been more negative about the real estate mogul. This debate, Gov. Mike Huckabee went out of his way to compliment Trump and even note that he was wearing a Trump tie.

Flip over to social media, and it's yet another story. Carson managed to gain the most Facebook followers — more than 10 times as many as his closest contender, Trump.

Facebook followers gains

Carson, Rubio, and Trump seemed to split the Google search traffic pretty evenly. Bush, on the other hand, did not perform well — he didn't have any of the big spikes that the other candidates saw throughout the night.

Then there is one place where everyone arguably lost: the very first question. Moderators asked candidates to weigh in on one of the most dreadful of interview questions: their biggest weakness. The answers, as you can see below, got weird — with no one candidate able to use the opener as a moment to shine.

What's your biggest weakness?

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