Donald Trump has the largest Wikipedia page of anyone who has had a shot at the U.S. Presidency since the crowdsourced encyclopedia launched in 2001. His page is bigger, in fact, than the two men who have actually served out presidencies since then (Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama).
The 2016 presidential election isn’t even finished and it’s already added far more volume to the pages of its two major contenders than any of the prior three contests. Editors on the site have added a total of 288,297 bytes to the pages of Trump and Hillary Clinton (221,024 and 67,273 bytes, respectively). That’s roughly 29,000 words.
While there’s no doubt that the real estate tycoon and reality television star has had an enormous impact on the country, it’s hard to justify his page outweighing that of two people who have actually served as leaders of the free world.
Here’s a quick rundown how much bulk each election since 2004 has added to the encyclopedia. The 2012 election, between Obama and Mitt Romney, added a total of 109,488 bytes to the two men’s entries. The 2008 election, between Obama and John McCain, added a total of 230,422 bytes. The 2004 election, between Bush and John Kerry, added 77,139 bytes (each of these totals cover the period from each candidate’s declaration to Election Day).
|Candidate’s Page||Declared||Size of Page at Declaration (bytes)||Size of Page, End of Election Day (bytes)||Size of Page, today (bytes)||Peak Edit Month, During Election||Difference over election (bytes)|
|Donald Trump||June 16, 2015||88,040||NA||309,064||3/16||221,024 (till present)|
|Hillary Clinton||April 12, 2015||206,328||NA||273,601||7/16||67,273 (till present)|
|Barack Obama, II||April 4, 2011||194,537||229,472||295,206||5/12||34,935|
|Mitt Romney||June 2, 2011||148,963||223,516||251,624||10/12||74,553|
|Barack Obama, I||February 10, 2007||90,263||228,832||295,206||04/08||138,569|
|John McCain||April 25, 2007||50,182||142,035||195,468||02/08||91,853|
|George W. Bush, Jr||May 16, 2003||33,398||45,879||283,062||10/04||12,481|
|John Kerry||September 2, 2003||1,270||65,928||131,955||08/04||64,658|
We previously reported that Donald Trump’s entry was the busiest of any major candidate. That remains true. Measuring by edits, there have been 6,151 edits on Trump’s page this year and only 1,598 on Clinton’s. The busiest year on Clinton’s page was 2006 (2,791 edits), the year of her Senate reelection.
The communal information source can be a bit schizophrenic about big topics. There are also pages for each presidential election and there are often pages devoted to a specific candidate’s campaign (see, for example, Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012).
The current race has not yet caught up to the overall page for 2008 race, however. Here are links to each of those pages, with their total current size:
- United States presidential election, 2004 (115,906 bytes)
- 2008 (207,897 bytes)
- 2012 (133,821 bytes)
- 2016 (148,529 bytes)
We had noticed in January that Trump’s entry included a section on his much discussed hairstyle. This disappeared on January 26, when Jayanta Sen removed it. “The section ‘Hairstyle’ is not encyclopedic, more suited to a tabloid,” he wrote in a note with his edit. “It makes Wikipedia appear juvenile.”
It remains to be seen if Trump’s entry will receive the same amount of attention should he fail to secure the White House.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.