Analysis of Google Trends: What Key Searches Tell Us

Voter Searches During 2019 Chicago Mayoral Election

Google analytical chart comparing searches of the top five most searched Mayoral candidates from August 25, 2018 to February 7, 2019.

With the Chicago Mayoral Election just around the corner, it is no surprise that Chicagoans are ramping up their research of candidates. An analysis of Google Trends data shows which candidates are most commonly searched, and helps deliver a better understanding of who is getting the most attention from voters. Out of 14 candidates on the ballot, the top 5 most searched are Susana Mendoza, Toni Preckwinkle, Bill Daley, Amara Enyia, and Willie Wilson. 

While the search data of all five candidates share a similar trend, there are three noteworthy breakouts. Amara Enyia boasts the most inquiries in a single day, most likely due to an endorsement from Chance the Rapper on October 16. Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley gained his largest number of searches on September 17 when he announced his candidacy. And Susana Mendoza’s largest single-day inquiry came on November 7, likely due to her re-election as Illinois Comptroller.

Although this data provides an interesting look at which candidates are most commonly searched and when voters are searching them, only time will tell if popularity on Google correlates to popularity at the polls.

If you are a Chicago resident and would like to participate in the upcoming Mayoral Election on February 26, you can find information regarding registration, early voting, and polling places on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners webpage.

Vaccine Searches in the Wake of Measles Outbreaks

Google Trends analytics for search terms: Vaccines, Measles Outbreak, and anti-vax from February 2018 to February 2019.

For many Americans, vaccinations are simply a part of life, and it’s likely most people don’t think much of them. However, a rise in anti-vaxers, who falsely claim vaccines cause autism, come amid several outbreaks of the measles, a virus that has been considered eliminated since 2000.

Google Trends analytical data shows that while vaccines are consistently searched within the United States, the measles have entered the public sphere at only two points in the past year. First, in August and October when the number of measles cases topped the previous year, and again in January 2019 when the CDC confirmed several measles outbreaks with over 100 cases in just one month. This second surge in searches for “measles outbreak” appear to have possibly resulted in a slight uptick in searches for “vaccines,” most likely due to public concern over the resurgence of the virus.

Amid these measles outbreaks, searches for anti-vax remain low. On the other hand, a more popular search containing the word anti-vax is “anti-vax memes,” which indicates popular opinion is still in favor of vaccinations and that many Americans find the anti-vax movement laughable.


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