Google trends are data gathered and made available by the search engine giant which display a gauged interest of topics measured by the amount of searches conducted by the public at any given interval. For instance, “best xmas gifts” is a trend that sees a low search volume during the majority of the year, but sees a spike leading into the shopping season before Christmas. “Playoff scores,” “Monday Night Football,” “March Madness,” and other search terms of the like all represent an ebbing interest for topics among Google searches—logically correlating to the times of the year when those events are taking place. Simply put, Google Trends can sometimes be used to accurately gauge public reactions and sentiment to current events.
Donald Trump was the clear winner of the Indiana GOP primary last night, taking home more than 50% of the vote. This run-away victory prompted Ted Cruz to proceed with what was most-likely a very premeditated announcement of his departure from the 2016 Presidential race. This shift in dynamic marks Donald Trump as the assumed nomination for the Republican presidential candidate.
However, shortly after the events of the Indiana Primary were broadcast across American air waves, there was a stir on the internet—aptly measurable by Google Trends. While “Primary results,” “GOP,” and “Cruz Drops Out,” all saw a uptick in searches, there was one candidate who was absent from the Indiana primary that still saw a surge in interest of over 5000%. That candidate—former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson—is the Libertarian party candidate nominee for the 2016 presidential race, and will be on the ballot in all 50 states.
While Google Trends is no official measure of anything, it is certainly illuminating in many cases. It would seem that the prospect of Donald Trump actually becoming the next president of the United States has started to sink in for many people—driving them to ponder the alternatives. Bernie Sanders is largely regarded as being done for, and Hillary Clinton has is an embodiment of establishment collusion and dirty politics. Most Trump supports would certainly be considered vehemently against either candidate, leaving many to wander just who would be left to meet the growing demand for anti-establishment, pro-freedom policy. Many Trump supporters are likely starting to sober up from all the brazenly simplified campaign speeches, wondering who might offer an alternative to Trump, while carrying some of those same anti-establishment ideals—certainly not John Kasich—he just dropped out of the race as well.
At this point it’s mere speculation as to which official leaked the details, but rumors of so-called “third-party” candidate—Gary Johnson—seem to have taken root among GOP supporters looking for an alternative to the media favorite Donald Trump. In all seriousness though, the surge of interest in the Libertarian party can be marked by the fact that Gary Johnson will be appearing on the ballot in all 50 states this election, as well as the former Governor of New Mexico polling in double digits vs Hillary and Trump. At this point it seems that the only thing that is certain is that Gary Johnson will likely see the largest amount of popular support that a Libertarian candidate has ever seen in its relatively short history.
With the popular options looking to be Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton this November, the flickers or interest in the Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson demonstrate the potential genesis of a legitimate interest in a third-party candidacy from the American People. To be certain; it’s still only a dream at this point. However, there is still a lot of time between now and November and, if the recent surge of interest in a Gary Johnson Presidency is any indicator; Trump and Hillary may have a legitimate contender in their race towards the Oval Office.