2 maps show how Carly Fiorina has started to break through the Donald Trump noise

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump continued to dominate discussion of the 2016 presidential race Wednesday night, according to a Google Trends analysis of search interest in the candidates

However, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s breakout performance in the second official presidential debate has evidently driven interest in her underdog campaign. 

Before Wednesday’s CNN debate, Trump was the No. 1 most-searched candidate nationwide.

But after the three-hour verbal bout, Fiorina accounted for more searches than him in a handful of states, including New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.

Google Trends posted the comparison on Twitter: 

Wednesday was Fiorina’s first night on the prime-time stage before tens of millions of viewers.

During the first Republican debate, hosted by Fox News last month, her poor poll numbers relegated her to the second-tier debate earlier in the evening. Her strong performance in that lower-tier forum was credited with lifting her poll numbers enough to make the CNN event, during which she had several notable moments.

An unflinching Fiorina directly went after Trump for what many saw as sexist remarks about her appearance, though Trump has insisted he’s been misinterpreted. Even more memorably, Fiorina delighted conservatives with a scathing indictment of Planned Parenthood.

However, Google search results aren’t the same thing as actual support — and Fiorina still has a long way to travel in the polls before she’s considered a top-tier contender.

Her new spotlight could also bring additional scrutiny to her record, such as her widely criticised tenure at Hewlett-Packard or her wide-margin defeat when she ran for a US Senate seat in California.

Check out Google Trends’ other data from debate night.

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