Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Official Google Blog: More midterm election search trends

Official Google Blog: More midterm election search trends

Election Day is finally here in the U.S., and many people are turning to the web to get information before heading out to vote. On Hot Trends at 1pm PT today, 13 of the top 20 searches were election-related, most of which had to do with figuring out where to vote. Terms like [polling place locator], [voting locations by zip code] and [where do i vote] have been popular all day, as well as state-specific searches like [nc board of elections] and [where to vote in minnesota]. Others are turning to the Internet to ask how long they have to vote, with searches like [what time do the polls close]. And earlier today, we even saw a handful of hot searches like [am i registered to vote in texas] and [voter registration]—apparently some well-meaning citizens have left one important part of the process until the last minute!

Of course, many people are also looking to make decisions about how to vote. The terms [vote smart] and [voters guide] have been popular today, indicating that people are trying to squeeze in some research before heading to the polls. Naturally, searches for various candidates, from [bill white] of Texas to [charlie baker] of Massachusetts, have increased today as well. Other searches like [massachusetts ballot questions 2010], [oklahoma state questions] and [amendment 4 florida] spiked this morning as people look for information about statewide measures. And at 1pm PT, three of the top 20 terms on Hot Trends had to do with California's proposition 19.

People are also already looking to get information about returns—searching for [exit polls 2010], [gallup poll], [voter turnout], [2010 election results] and [voting results], even though polls don’t close on the East Coast for several more hours.

Looking back over this past weekend, we saw a steady stream of political searches coming in. Search volume for California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina spiked last Friday when news broke that she had entered the hospital for an infection, but searches for Fiorina have since dropped below those for her opponent, Sen. Barbara Boxer. And amidst growing speculation about the possibility of his becoming Speaker of the House (and back-and-forth barbs with President Obama over the weekend), searches for Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner rose steadily across the country. Finally, last weekend was the culmination of nearly two months of national interest in Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. On Saturday, October 30, more than half the terms on Hot Trends were related to the rally, and related searches like [comedy central rally] and [keep fear alive] have exploded, increasing by more than 5,000% in several cases.

We’ll be back later on with the latest on our election search trends. Until then, go find your polling place and vote!

Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor

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