Google data show the 5 issues dominating voter searches, and it could mean Trump’s message is failing

A composite image showing President Donald Trump at a campaign rally for a Republican Senate Candidate in Indiana on Monday, and the five most highly searched political topics over time. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images/Google/Business Insider

  • New Google data show the political issues that people have been searching for most in the run up to the midterm elections.
  • The key Democratic issue of health care is overtaking the key Republican issue of immigration as the most searched-for topic.
  • The economy and jobs market don’t feature directly, even as Republicans try to use them as campaign points.
  • Minimum wage, abortion, and Social Security are the next most searched-for topics.

New Google data show the five most-searched political issues in advance of the midterm elections, and it shows that Trump’s immigration message is failing to win out over the key Democratic issue of health care, while the economy is hardly mentioned.

Both parties have been trying to make their core issue the main issue in voters’ minds, and Google’s data showed that health care and immigration remained the two most-searched topics.

While they regularly overtook each other as the most popular topics, health care has emerged as the most-searched-for term as polls open.

From October 30 to November 1, the two search terms regularly overtook each other:

Google mid term search trends

This trend continued, but healthcare has dominated in the run-up to and on voting day on Tuesday:

Google midterms search terms

You can watch the graph move as a video here.

Despite Trump urging voters to keep the strong economy in mind at rallies and in tweets, the economy and job market are not among the most searched-for issues by voters.

Republicans have tried to get Trump to focus on the economy over immigration and worry that Trump’s focus on immigration could cost the party seats, Politico reported.

House Speaker Paul Ryan urged Trump to talk up the economy on run-up to the elections, a source told Politico, but Trump said that the issue of immigration fires up the base.

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Fears over access to health care has been a focal point of the Democrats’ campaign.

Republicans have found themselves on the defensive over the issue of health care, particularly protections for people with preexisting conditions, and Democrats are taking advantage: – roughly half of all ad spending by Democratic midterm candidates or groups focuses on healthcare

Health care protest
People protest President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut $US800 billion for the Medicaid budget in August 2017. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Polling has shown that protections of people with preexisting conditions are important to voters. In a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank, 75% of people surveyed said protections to ensure people are not denied coverage due to a preexisting condition are “very important” – and more people said they trusted the Democratic Party to ensure those protections.

Some Republican candidates have, in response, signalled support for Obamacare’s most popular provisions.

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Democrats want to make sure voters have this issue in mind when they go to the polls. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, urged Democrats to push the message further on Wednesday, just one day before voting. In a letter to House Democrats, she wrote ” Health care is the key factor in voters’ decisions,” The Hill reported.


Republicans have sought to shift the debate to fears around illegal immigration, which is the biggest concern among Republican voters, according to polls.

Trump has focused on a caravan of Central American migrants that is moving north, but still hundreds of miles away. Trump has dispatched thousands of troops to the border and made vague promises to bar immigrants from seeking asylum if they cross the border illegally. Trump’s tone when talking about immigrants has been off-putting for many voters, but has attracted others. Former President Barack Obama said that the demonization of the group is being used as a “political stunt.”

Trump has also ran an ad that falsely blames Democrats for the case of an unauthorised immigrant who killed multiple police officers in 2014. The ad was considered so offensive by CNN, Fox, NBC, and Facebook all either refused to run the ad or pulled it.

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Other topics

The issues of social security, abortion, and minimum wage are regularly searched by voters, though none have become the first or second most-searched term.

This was how the issues stacked up between October 30 and November 1:

Google trends search terms midterms

They continued to fluctuate between November 1 and November 3:

Screen Shot 2018 11 06 at 10.31.17

And this is how they compared on Tuesday morning:

Screen Shot 2018 11 06 at 10.31.54

Alabama, Oregon, and West Virginia have measures aimed at reducing abortion access on the ballot, while many in Trump’s base will look to his administration to restrict access to such services more widely.

Democrats have accused the GOP of plotting to cut Social Security, while Republicans have argued that the nation’s growing deficit is being driven by such programmes.

Arkansas and Missouri will be voting on a higher minimum wage.