Google and Republicans: a fascinating experiment
August 18th, 2011
03:21 PM ET

Google and Republicans: a fascinating experiment

By Thomas Mucha, GlobalPost

The best ideas are, usually, the simplest ones.

We have our friends over at Slate to thank for today's best story idea on the web.

In this wonderfully entertaining slideshow, Elizabeth Weingarten presents what Google searchers are really looking for in their Republican presidential candidates.

The idea is simple, thanks to Google. 

Here's how it works:

When you type in a search term, the search engine helpfully suggests other topics right below the search bar, essentially giving you an instant view of what other people are looking for at that moment.

So, for example:

Type in the search term: "Rick Perry," a huge trending term on Google over the past week or so. You get the following entries:

Rick Perry wife

Rick Perry for president

Rick Perry gun

Rick Perry hair

For illustrative purposes, here's a screen grab from the Slate slideshow:

But that's only the beginning of the fun.

The search term "Michele Bachmann" yields, as Weingarten discovers, hot, husband, bikini, quotes, and crazy.

"Rick Santorum" offers up family, gay, wiki, and wife.

"Mitt Romney" produces family, young, funny, and — of course — hair.

You can view the entire Slate slideshow here.

Oh, and what does "Barack Obama" get you?

According to my own up-to-the-nanosecond search just now, it's Twitter, biography, and in another sign that the Republicans rule Google, birth certificate.

As Google continues to push deeper and deeper into our everyday lives, it's a comfort to know that, at least when it comes to politics, we all know what the real issues are.

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Topics: Odd • Politics • United States

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Michelle G

    Not sure if this is funny or just terribly sad. And who is searching for Michelle Bachmann in a bikini?!?!? Seriously gross people.

    August 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • j. von hettlingen

      In twenty years maybe Michele Bachmann might google and refresh her memory again!

      August 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  2. James Strong

    Uh, what? So, let me get this right: You're actually suggesting that Google autocomplete options give are an accurate account of what Republicans are thinking about? If so, you're mad.

    First of all, the image you linked to is for Google Images, not standard Google search, which sort of explains why people are looking for "michelle bachmann young" and "rick perry hair." Yet, the search you used for Obama was on standard Google, not Google Images, which doesn't give the same results.

    If you had bothered to search for Democratic politicans on Google Images you would've seen:
    "barack obama smoking weed"
    "obama not bad"
    "nancy pelosi bikini"
    "nancy pelosi husband"

    Oh my god! Democrats want Nancy Pelosi in a bikini! Obama smokes weed!

    Not really. It's just that this entire experiment is stupid to begin with. Google autocomplete has been notorious for producing the zaniest results imaginable, here are a few gems:
    Type "is it wr" and you'll get "is it wrong to sleep with your mom"
    Type "can a human" and you'll get "can a human get a dog pregnant"

    And, honestly, "Republicans rule Google"? What?

    August 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm |

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