Trump and Clinton Master-Debating

On Sunday, October 9th the second 2016 Presidential Debate took place. Just a few weeks earlier, the first Presidential Debate broke several TV viewership records, but this second debate saw a 20% audience reduction to just 66.5 million. Our friends at ATTN checked in to see how the debate may have affected traffic to Pornhub. Interestingly, Pornhub’s usual Sunday night traffic dropped slightly more during the second debate, indicating that porn fans were more interested in seeing their potential presidents duke it out live.

While the first debate saw a peak traffic drop of -16% across the United States, the second brought traffic down -18% compared to an average Sunday.


Our statisticians compared each debate night to the same days and times on an average week. To see how traffic differs on an average Sunday night versus Monday you can check out our comprehensive Fappyhour post.

Proportionately, men were more likely to tune into both debates. According to our anonymized analytics tool, traffic from men was down -12% during the first debate, and -14% during the second. Proportionately, visits from women dropped -9% during the first debate and -11% during the second. Women make up about 23% of Pornhub’s visitors in the United States.


Proportionately, Pornhub’s visitors over the age of 65 were the most likely to turn down the porn and turn up the TV. During the first debate, over-65 traffic was down -33% but slightly less at -27% during the second. 18 to 24 year olds were equally as interested in both debates, but the biggest decreases in traffic from one debate to the next came from people aged 25 to 34. That group went from a -8% drop in the first debate to -13% in the second.


The popularity of these debates (and the 2016 election in general) has an effect on what Pornhub users are searching for. Numerous porn parodies featuring Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton can be found online, and it seems that election related news will cause increased searches. After the first debate, searches for Hillary Clinton increased significantly, while Trump remained relatively flat.

Trump had his “huuuuuge” comeback a few days later on October 1 when searches shot through the roof after his late-night tweets attacking former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. One of Trumps tweets suggested that people should check out her sex-tape, but it seems that a lot of those people went looking for a Trump video instead.


The second debate saw searches for Trump increase once again, along with a large jump in Hillary’s popularity. It should be noted that these search increases are based on the average search levels for each candidate. As we found in our earlier Trump vs Clinton search post, we found that Donald Trump was much more popular.

Post debate, we’ve even seen thousand of searches relating to Kenneth Bone (aka Ken Bone) the sweater-clad gentleman who stood up to ask a question during the second debate. And Mr. Trump’s secretly recorded conversation (aka his “locker-room” talk) that spread around the internet like wild-fire coincided with a 7% increase in Pornhub searches containing “pussy” compared to the previous week.


We will finish off this Insights post by looking at how the two debates caused traffic changes in each US state. The following animation illustrates the changes, with darker blue indicating the biggest traffic decreases — as much as -21% during the first debate and -33% during the second. Many less Pornhub users on the West Coast tuned into the second debate (thereby causing a smaller traffic decrease on Pornhub) compared to the first debate.


Our final chart breaks the data down state by state. The list is ordered according the states with the biggest traffic drop during the second debate. The first line shows the traffic drop during the first debate compared to the second. Rhode Island for instance had an incredible -33% traffic drop during the second debate, but only -17% during the first. We have also colorized the states red or blue according to which political party they voted for during the 2012 election. As we found in our earlier post covering the first debate, previously democratic voting states were more likely to tune into the debates, but the field seemed more mixed during the second.


We hope you enjoyed this edition of Pornhub Insights. As always, let us know what you think in the comments!


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