Now that the next presidential election is roughly 18 months away, the campaign is naturally heating up — which means that people are starting to look into the candidates that we're all fated to be hearing about constantly for the foreseeable future. As it turns out, the top Google searches about Hillary Clinton and other presidential hopefuls are hilarious. Perhaps that's to be expected; I mean, whether you're talking campaign ads or Internet searches, why should the way in which the citizens of the most powerful nation on Earth learn about their future leaders ever be dignified?
On Monday, Google published the top Google searches for Republican candidate Marco Rubio and for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. There's also some data available for additional Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. And the questions people ask about these figures is telling, if not exactly confidence-inspiring. For one thing, people seem bizarrely preoccupied with how old and how tall candidates are: The number one search for Hillary is "How old is Hillary Clinton?" But lest you think that this has something to do with the sexist double standard we have for women aging, age is also the number one question for Marco Rubio and the number two question for Rand Paul. So... at least there's that.
In fact, some of the top questions for both Marco Rubio and Rand Paul seem to be not only how old they are, but how tall they are, both of which rank in the top five Google searches for each man. What does height have to do with being President? I have no idea.
People also seem to need help figuring out what political party the candidates belong to. "Is Hillary Clinton a Democrat?" is the second most searched query regarding her candidacy. And "Is Marco Rubio a Democrat?" is the fifth most common question about him. And no, that isn't a typo. People really are curious if he's actually a Democrat. Do people just assume no one with a non-white-sounding name would want to have anything to do with the Republican party? Well, far be it from me to assume anything about the people who type things into Google.
I will say, though that Google users do seem to be weirdly preoccupied with both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio's nationality. "Where was Marco Rubio born?" is the second most common question people are asking about him, while "Is Ted Cruz eligible to be a US president?" is his second most common query.
There are some encouraging signs, though, from all this Google data. People are at least looking to learn about where the candidates stand on various issues. Questions like "What does Hillary Clinton stand for?" and "What has Marco Rubio done?" are common enough, although no specific issue questions made the list of top queries.
Though I nearly had a meltdown when I saw the the fourteenth most common question about Hillary Clinton is "What has Hillary Clinton actually accomplished?" This from one of the most prominent and successful women to have ever been in the U.S. government in all of U.S. history. I don't care if fourteenth is pretty far down the list, it needs to get off the list entirely.
Still, by far my favorite question from the whole piece, the one that really makes me happy, is the 11th most common question regarding Hillary Clinton: "Is Hillary Clinton married?"
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, despite people (*cough* my relatives *cough*) saying people will never see Hillary Clinton as anything more than the former First Lady, there are apparently millions of people out there who don't think of her as Bill Clinton's wife, and in fact don't even know she's married. This pleases me greatly.
Though people can also stop asking Google "Will Hillary win presidency?" Guys. Google is not psychic. This is why people don't think democracy is a good idea.
But as long as people are going to be Googling, I personally think that campaigns ought to be using that information. It's like polling data only better — and funnier!
You can check out a full list of the top 15 Google searches for Hillary Clinton here.
Images: Giphy (3)