Just yesterday, Google launched their 2020 Election Google Trends page, which allows you to see exactly what the rest of the country is searching for these days. And as a parent, I bet civically-minded kids would love to learn more about what’s happening in their own communities.
The site breaks search terms down into all kinds of charts and other data-based geekery that I love, but I think the most fascinating might be the US map that lets you click by state to see the voting-related issues that those citizens are looking into the most.
It’s live and updated by the minute.
Evidently Alabama has some heavy election search right now, with very high interest in terms like “absentee ballot” and “early voting.” (Go, Alabama!) From there, you can drill down by the county level to get even more granular.
The 2020 Election Google Trends page can also help you discover election-related news that you might have missed; like when I clicked to see why so many New Yorkers were searching for “Iowa absentee ballot,” it brought me to a recent story about a judge invalidating thousands of Iowa absentee ballots that had already been mailed.
(Because, of course there are leaders who want make it harder for citizens to vote because they believe that disenfranchising voters helps them, personally. For more on that, you’ll want to listen to our latest Spawned podcast interview about mail-in voting facts. Gah.)
You can also look at individual state maps to see the most highly searched political topics, which may be even more revealing than whatever is headlining your favorite news network right now.
For example, every single county of every single U.S. state (Arizona shown above) is searching “unemployment,” overwhelmingly over topics like health care, social security, and race.
Of course that’s likely related to the record 14.5 million Americans collecting unemployment benefits right now, and not searches for candidate platforms. Even so, you can imagine what’s going to be a major issue for voters come November 3.
Then again, I am not seeing “Covid” anywhere as a dedicated election topic. Maybe it falls under “health care?” Even so, Google might want to think about updating that.