Between political pundits, pollsters, and stump speeches, it’s easy to get lost this election season. So much noise!
And in times like this, Americans turn to an emotionless medium for the political questions they have: Google. It’s here that you’ll find some of the most revealing questions Americans have about America’s two major party presidential candidates.
Luckily, Google has a service called Google Trends. If you’re looking for what people are searching on Google, Trends is the place to explore as much.
Given that we’re just a few short weeks away from the November 8 presidential election, Google Trends has been cataloging what people are searching for on each candidate on a day-to-day basis. And what they’re searching for speaks volumes.
Here’s a look at what people are searching for most when it comes to Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, just the past day:
Based on those questions, it’s clear that both Trump supporters and non-supporters alike are looking for information on Trump’s campaign. Most tellingly, based on the chart to the left, people are looking up what Trump said most recently instead of his main policy tentpoles: building a wall along the US/Mexico border, defeating ISIS, and strengthening the economy.
Things get even more revealing when you look at general searches related to Trump’s campaign:
The top two results are Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds, respectively — two of the women accusing Trump of sexual assault. It’s not surprising that their names are the top-trending searches related to Trump’s campaign, given the sexual assault allegations leveled at Trump are dominating news coverage of his campaign. He’s repeatedly brought up the allegations himself in stump speeches, in addition to the flood of stories this week with new accusers coming forward.
Looking at the same trend charts for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton offers a look into a campaign that’s seemingly more in control of its messaging:
Given that First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech on Thursday went viral — Obama is a surrogate for Clinton’s campaign — people are looking her up. That same thing applies to the second-highest result: Clinton’s Wikipedia page was hacked and replaced earlier this week (it’s been fixed).
What’s more interesting in Clinton’s case is what type of questions people are asking on Google:
Unlike the questions people are asking Google about Trump, the questions people are asking about Clinton have more to do with her as a person than her faults.
Based on the chart to the right, it’s clear that the most notable negatives attached to Clinton are storylines involving the attack on the American embassy in Libya (“Benghazi”), the private email server she used while serving as secretary of state (“emails”), and her family’s foundation (“Clinton Foundation”).
Yet, outside of the least-searched question, it looks like few people are turning to Google to ask about Clinton’s negatives.
Instead, they’re wondering if Fox News host Megyn Kelly is voting for Clinton or Trump.