When checking out Google trends today I came across something very interesting. I was typing in random words for fun, and I found this graph. If you notice up until 2010 after the midterm election democrats have historically been center stage on the internet. There has scarce been a time when republicans were searched more frequently, and the news seems to have taken the same path. That all changed as the candidates started to take their positions for the primary race for the nomination.
As the graph below shows the frequency of searches and the news coverage about republicans, for the first time in at least 8 years, has overtaken the democrats. More people in the past year sought out the republican party online.
As we all know any news is good news because the average human being will repeat what they encounter the most. We are creatures of habit and if you aren’t sure who to vote for (independents) then you will naturally choose the name you heard most frequently.
Before Rick Santorum suspended his campaign there was quite the buzz in various media sources that the race for the nomination was becoming a distraction from the campaign. Talking heads went on and on calling the primary election “Blood letting”. It seems however that what was in fact happening was very different. As the race heated up and political ads fired back and forth the interest in the republican party increased. People weren’t loosing interest as the news agencies were leading America to believe. In fact as you can see by the graph above the longer the race went on the greater portion of internet attention the GOP received. The hard fought battle for the nomination was the best campaign tool for Mitt Romney. Another rarely mentioned fact about the hard fought race was the Obama factor. Without a clear candidate to address his attacks at Mr. Obama left his campaign very much on hold. Immediately following the announcement by Rick Santorum the Obama campaign unleashed a hoard of campaign materials against Mitt in various media forms. If the race for the nomination had continued longer it is likely that that torrent of negative campaigning would have laid dormant. All the while giving the general public more time to get better acquainted with the republican party.
Unfortunately for the GOP the Obama campaign is leaps and bounds beyond the republicans at monitoring social awareness and trends through the internet. There are some start ups working toward conservative ends, but the majority of political experts taking full advantage of concepts like SEO and SMM are liberals. In our society not taking full advantage of internet opportunities can break a start up or even a well established business. It’s good to see the GOP making moves toward eListening however it may be to little to late. President Obama’s campaign has a well trained staff monitoring online chatter around the clock and they have been at it for some time now. Luckily public sentiment as currently focused on republicans, but expect a huge blitz of online material from the left to combat this trend.