Thursday, June 25, 2009
For the first time this year since Bobby Jindal gave the Republican response to President Obama's speech before a joint session of Congress, Sarah Palin searches have been surpassed by another (now former) prospective Republican presidential candidate. Last night FHQ asked aloud whether Mark Sanford's searches, once they were incorporated into Google Trends, would settle in between where John Ensign searches were a week ago following the Nevada senator's announcement and where Palin searches have been post-Letterman or surpass Palin. They seem to have passed Palin and then some. In fact, the first of the two Palin spikes in June is the highest the Alaska governor has been all year and that is around the same height Jindal reached in the pre-/post-response period.
The Sanford data has not been fully implemented in the main Google Trends search, but is working with our tracker for whatever reason. The F in the screenshot above denotes where Sanford admitted to the affair and we can also see the first of the two Palin spikes in June there as well and that it rivals the Jindal jump in February.
Needless to say, Sanford searches over the last few days have outpaced both Palin and Jindal by far in 2009. And that says something about what we see in these trends and what that tells us about the candidate emergence tracker in general. First, none of these search spikes are for "good" reasons. The tracker's intent is to pick up an organic movement toward a particular candidate -- to see a candidate emerge. And it is not a good thing for the Republican Party overall or the tracker generally that all the movement thus far is being triggered by scandal-related or other negatively-identified moments.
But I'll have more on that tomorrow when I look at the state of the 2012 race for the GOP nomination.
State of the Race: New Jersey (6/25/09)
DNC to Provide Coverage of Democratic Change Commission Meeting on Saturday
What Scandal Does to the Candidate Emergence Tracker