Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Answer is Yes

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.

Recent Posts:
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


Jack said...

One thing it hasn't increased is his Twitter activity. Nothing since the 22nd, when he was still in Argentina, I believe. Will he stay on the 2012 candidates Twitter section of the blog?

Also, since it's something you've touched on a little bit in the past, just curious what you think of Ed Kilgore's "next-in-line" post?

Robert said...

I think there is something to the next-in-line theory for the Republicans. George W. Bush is the main exception, but none of the reruns that year (Alexander, Buchanan, Forbes or Keyes) had been top-tier candidates in 1996. If the Vice-Presidency was so important to the Republicans as Kilgore suggests, then Dan Quayle should have been the 2000 nominee. Daddy Bush was the clear second-runner in 1980 and he was chosen over Bob Dole in 1988. I agree with Kilgore that Huckabee has some claim to being heir-apparent along with Romney, but if Romney had stayed in the race as long as Huckabee did, Mitt would have been a clear second in delegates at the convention. I think Kilgore's argument is a weak one.

Josh Putnam said...

You'll have to give me a little while to respond to you on the Kilgore piece. My response is lengthy.

...a little too lengthy for a comment and not its own post.

On Sanford on Twitter...
He has been quiet, but his followers have doubled since I started tracking those totals last month. [I'll update that across the board this weekend sometime.] Of course, we have no way of knowing whether people have just within the last week begun following him to see if he'd reveal anything on Twitter.

Will I keep him on the 2012 candidate Twitter list? For entertainment value, probably (at least until the resignation question answers itself). Long term? No.