I’ve said to myself throughout this election cycle, “One of these days, people will regret voting for Hillary Clinton.” And it looks like some are feeling that way a bit more early than expected. I was browsing Twitter when something caught my eye; a Google Trends graph that showed popular search trends. Apparently, the news that the FBI was reopening the Clinton email investigation is causing folks to have second thoughts about voting for her. It’s a story I covered yesterday, detailing several theories about the emails and investigation itself.
The graph showed a spike in the search term, “can you change your early vote?” The phrase was practically nonexistent, snaking along a seven-day graph at zero until around 5 p.m. on Friday evening, when it shot up to a search interest volume index of 100 suddenly. Interestingly, the phrase, “I’m with her” plummeted to just over 25 at the same time.
Early voting began this week in several states, and Clinton has long advocated for early voting as a means to gain traction against her opponents and to also reduce the impact that negative revelations such as the FBI case against her could have.
Now, the specifics of the buyer’s remorse search don’t say whether it’s in relation to Clinton or Donald Trump, but we can deduce who’s doing the searching based on several things: when the news that the FBI was reopening the Clinton email investigation, when Trump’s rape case gained traction, and normal search trends over a period of time.
And the results are fairly damning for Clinton, and to a lesser extent for Trump. Let’s look at Clinton’s Google searches first.
First, I narrowed down the search to the last seven days to give me an idea about whether people were searching for these things or not. Secondly, I made it specific to the United States to localize the results. I used five color-coded search terms, which is the maximum number you can use.
- Blue: Can you change your early vote
- Red: I’m with her
- Yellow: Hillary Clinton innocent
- Green: Hillary Clinton Wiener
- Purple: Is Clinton better than Trump
What I found intriguing when I first saw the results is how low “I’m with her” falls on the Google Trends bar. For the last seven days, the search volume index has consistently been below 50, often dipping to below 25. Ever since the news that Comey was reopening the investigation, though, it has only reached over 25 in two, brief spurts on October 29.
A little before 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon, the search term “Hillary Clinton Wiener” shot from a search volume index of zero to just over 25. Shortly thereafter, “Can you change your early vote” went from nearly nothing to a search volume index of 100. That means a lot of people — many of whom were likely early voters — were wondering if there was a way to take it back.
The search terms “Hillary Clinton innocent” and “Is Trump better than Clinton ” both had low search volume indexes, meaning not a lot of people have been interested in those questions. What interests people, though, is the possibility that Anthony Wiener’s sexting scandal led the FBI to discover a treasure trove of emails on a laptop he likely shared with estranged wife and Clinton aide, Huma Abedin. The Wall Street Journal reports that these emails number over a half million, which the FBI discovered weeks ago.
Next, we’ll look at some Trump searches and see if they also fit a pattern for early voting regrets.
- Blue: Trump rape case
- Red: Make America Great Again
- Yellow: Miss USA Pageant
- Green: Can you change your early vote
- Purple: Donald Trump Russia
What I found with Trump was, not many people care about whatever connections he might have with Russia, but a huge number of people want to know about making American great again. This search is consistently high. However, the rape case against him and the early voting regret seem to correlate, but the search interest volume index indicates that the searches happened further apart, so the correlation between the two is harder to see. With Clinton, the early voting regret search spiked a bit more closely to the FBI announcement.
Other than early voting regret, what else are people searching for on Google? “Hillary for prison” peaked at around noon on Friday, October 28, while “Drain the swamp” rocketed to a search index volume of 100 on Saturday around 5 p.m.
It’s fairly clear that neither candidate is much loved by Americans by and large, but Trump seems to have more enthusiastic support than does Clinton. In fact, the Google Trends searches indicate that voting remorse is more likely with Clinton than it is with Trump.
As a side note: NBC News has confirmed that the FBI has gotten a warrant to search Wiener’s laptop, while Senator Harry Reid lashed out at James Comey for allegedly violating the Hatch Act, which bars individuals from using their authority to influence elections.
I’m not a statistician, nor am I a mathematician. But I have eyes, and I can see what’s before me. I can tell without much effort what these search terms mean: Americans are suffering from a deep sense of despair and regret. They are in pain. They are worried. They want a president they can trust and count on, not a pathological liar, an alleged rapist, or a warmongering national security risk. People have awakened to the realization that voting is but a sham, a means for the political elite to placate an increasingly angry populace.
The political elite owe the American people an apology for putting forth two horribly bad candidates at a critical time in our nation’s history. It’s not enough that folks are wondering if they can change their early voting choice, because no matter who wins, the results could be, quite frankly, disastrous.
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]