The Elephant Not In The Room


And just like that, last night marked the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucus on Monday. But the most-talked about candidate wasn’t even in attendance! There’s been a lot of media this week around The Donald. How did Trump’s decision to sit out of last night’s debate impact what Yakkers think of him and the other candidates?

While absent from the stage, Trump led the field in terms of mentions on Yik Yak (as he has in every Republican debate so far), taking 34.9% of total mentions across the app – over twice as many as Ted Cruz. Of those on stage, the most-discussed candidates were Cruz (15.4%), Marco Rubio (14.0%), and Rand Paul (12.8%).

If you asked who won the debate in terms of sentiment, it was no contest: Rand Paul earned a 73.6% approval rating, which was well over twice as much as any other candidate. The bigger surprise was the ranking of the next candidates: John Kasich (27.7%) placed second with Trump (27.0%) essentially in lock-step at third.


Trump’s approval was easily the best he’s seen with Yakkers so far – perhaps not being a part of the fray shielded him from the heat he oftentimes faces. In the last debate (just two weeks ago), he had the lowest approval rating of all the candidates. Cruz, who had placed second in the past debate, fell to fifth last night behind Rubio.

With the Iowa caucus just days away, it’s worth noting that Trump had the most mentions among the yaks coming from Iowa (Cruz was a distant second), and the candidates with the highest level of approval in Iowa were Rubio and Paul. Overall, the most engaged states during the debate were Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and New York.

As usual, many yaks discussed Democrats vs Republicans followed by foreign policy, religion, and social issues. 

Stay tuned to Yik Yak for all things Iowa, and don’t miss the next ABC Republican Debate Yak Chat on Saturday, February 6th. Happy caucusing!