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US Presidential elections – run up and aftermath: what search is saying

by Gill, Head of Content Marketing
09th Nov 2016 - 2 min read

It’s 9.33am on November 9th and it’s a done deal. Donald J Trump will be the next President of the United States. I was interested to see what search says people are concerned about now, so I ran the numbers…

us-elections

Things these graphs say, starting with the first graph:

  1. First, we believe Google had a blip at about 2am EST, when Hillary Clinton conceded, and this gives us the sudden hour-long trough in search. Or maybe Americans ALL just went to bed at 2am, exhausted by it all.
  2. But by this time, Americans were researching emigrating to Canada – they paused to watch the news come in – and then they went back to searching for ‘Canadian citizenship’ and other terms.
  3. As Hillary conceded search for ‘how to impeach a president’ doubled.
  4. All of this dwarfed the number of people who were interested to learn why Hillary didn’t win: did they already know? So many people seemed to be voting against the other candidate, not because they liked the candidate. So maybe people already know why she didn’t win…

Second graph:

  1. Whatever their specific questions and queries about the candidates, Americans were a lot more interested in Trump than Clinton. At 3am their interest waned and, presumably, they finally went to bed.

Third graph: This is UK search – with corresponding blip in data at 2am EST (7am GMT) .

  1. Brits were clearly concerned as they asked ‘what will Trump do?’ more and more, until Hillary conceded. Then Britons asked, ‘How did Trump win?’, was this a genuine question or expression of disappointment and despair?

But add in ‘Brexit’ and we see how little the US Presidential election matters to the UK compared to Brexit, which dwarfs American search. It’s worth noting that US search for Brexit also spiked at 2am – I would guess that US presenters were citing parallels and Americans wanted to know what a ‘Brexit’ is.

Read our comprehensive pre-Brexit and post-Brexit research articles to see how search can only reveal part of the story…

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