Religion was the most talked-about political topic on Facebook in the last month, according to data from the company released in advance of Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate.
Between Sept. 10 and Oct. 10, religion topped all other political topics on the platform. It was followed by guns, the economy, homeland security and terrorism and racial issues.
While some of the topics — such as the economy and terrorism — are perennial matters of political debate, others have been featured prominently in the news recently.
Republican presidential candidate and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson angered many with his comments in September that a Muslim should not serve as president.
“Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution,” he said.
The issue of gun control has also been in the news in light of a mass shooting at a Roseburg, Ore., community college that left 10 people dead in early October. The incident led President Obama to say that gun violence was “something we should politicize.”
Racial issues have also taken a larger place in the public discourse in the last year, as people around the country have called for new policies in response to several prominent incidents where unarmed black Americans were killed by law enforcement officers or died in police custody.
Facebook said earlier this week that discussion around the election this year had already topped one billion likes, comments, shares and posts on the platform.
Data shows that Republican candidate Donald Trump dominates conversation on the platform. The data does not reveal, however, what users are saying about the candidate — so their statements could be positive, negative or neutral.
Of the candidates who will take the stage at Tuesday’s debate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton generates the most interactions on Facebook. She is followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who is challenging her from the left.