Yes, the evidence is quite
empirical, thank you very much.
Go to www.distrowatch.com
and look at the sidebar on the right. It lists the popularity of the various Linux distributions. Ubuntu is #1, Mint is #2. And even better, Mint is compatible with Ubuntu. My system accesses the latest Ubuntu repositories for software.
And searching around on the Net, you can see that it's true as well. Find a discussion about Linux, and usually it's Ubuntu or Mint. You don't hear nearly as much about Fedora/Red Hat these days like you did in the late 90's/early 00's (yes, I've been involved in Linux that long!)
I'm not actually compiling the client (maybe I should try?). I'm using the binaries that come with it in the "bin" folder.