The fascinating phenomenon that is Donald Trump’s regular sniffing during each of the first two presidential debates has captured the imagination of a nation. Though we couldn’t possibly guess at what might be the cause for the sniffling, we certainly can count all those sniffs.
And we did. We counted all of Donald Trump’s sniffles during the second presidential debate. And we’re going to tell you how many there were, by our count.
First, a disclaimer: We might have missed some sniffles across the 90-minute debate. Counting the sniffs is a tough task, and so you should take the number that we tallied up as a rough estimate. Human error is a real thing, and what you think counts as a sniffle may not 100 percent align with what I think counts as a sniffle. But we do believe we’re in the ballpark, and that our count is pretty close.
The number we tallied is 93 sniffles for Donald Trump. That’s about one sniffle per minute, as the debate went slightly over the allotted 90 minutes.
The density of sniffs decreased over the course of the debate — in the finale third, the rate at which Trump sniffled went down pretty significantly compared with the early goings. Just as we couldn’t guess at why he was sniffling in the first place, we also couldn’t guess about why the sniffles would come less often as the debate goes on.
So there you go.