Gary Johnson

Post-RNC, Gary Johnson Sees Big Spike in Online Interest

Libertarian candidate now getting more Google searches than in 2012.

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Gary Johnson
Paul Hennessy/Polaris/Newscom

Today's latest CNN/ORC poll release shows Donald Trump getting a post-convention bounce and taking the lead from Hillary Clinton. This is the case whether or not Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (getting 9 percent) and Green candidate Jill Stein (3 percent) are included.

Interestingly, despite the warnings from speakers at the Republican National Convention that voting for anybody other than Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton, Trump's lead actually widens when the third-party candidates are considered. They're three points apart in a head-to-head match-up. They're five points apart in a four-way race. (This probably means we'll hear the same dire warnings all this week that not voting for Hillary Clinton will help Trump win.)

While Johnson still isn't getting high enough poll numbers yet to make the presidential debates (he needs to hit 15 percent), he saw signs of a different sort of convention bounce. It appears that over the course of the RNC, Google interest in searches for him spiked to the point that there's now more people looking for info about Johnson than there ever was prior to the 2012 election. The same holds true for Stein, though to a much lesser degree. Note the far right of the chart below. Interest in Johnson is in blue. Interest in Stein is in red.

Gary Johnson chart
Google Trends

Just to explain the graph a little bit more: Google Trends don't provide flat numbers of searches. The graph essentially serves to compare interest using a 0-100 scale over time. Where the chart hits 100 indicates the greatest number of searches. From this comparison, we can see an 18 percentage point increase in Johnson's searches here in July (and it's not over yet!) when compared to November 2012, when he had his last spike.

That's good news for both candidates when it comes to building name recognition. That more people are searching for information about them means more people have obviously learned that they exist. The bad news is that their search interest still absolutely pales against those for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (On the other hand, think of the kind of news stories people find when they search for Trump or Clinton.)

Toward the end of last week Johnson showed up among the top 200 trending searches on Google. He currently is not, but we'll see how the week goes. His numbers from last week showed search interest increasing slowly as the week went on.

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  1. Great, so a vote for Johnson is a vote for Trump. Thanks Reason.

  2. I’ll wait to see when it effects his polling numbers.

    1. affects, damn no edit button…

  3. Can we get another video from that Jon Stewart alumnus, frowning at 50% of everything Johnson said?

  4. Johnson on the rise, you say?

    1. To be fair, the Google search trend data is for all instances of “Gary Johnson,” and is not correcting for misspellings of “hairy,” “fairy,” “scary,” and “gay.”

  5. While Johnson still isn’t getting high enough poll numbers yet to make the presidential debates (he needs to hit 15 percent)

    “Do you think Gary Johnson should be in the presidential debates?

    YES: Easily greater than 15%

    NO: Easily less than 85%”

    1. Start pressuring the CPD to drop the threshold to 10%. Or 5%.

      1. Fuck the “threshold” and allow anyone into the debates who is on the ballot in enough states to have a mathematical possibility of winning. Any other standard is arbitrary.

  6. Gary’s absolutely killin’ it in this one:

    NBC Poll ? : Vote For Your Future President

    1. Other 65883 38%
      Gary Johnson 52739 31%
      Donald Trump 24640 14%
      Hillary Clinton 15338 9%
      Jill Stein 13532 8%

      1. Donald Trump 27371 15%
        Hillary Clinton 15817 9%
        Jill Stein 13988 8%
        Gary Johnson 55721 31%
        Other 69310 38%
        Billy Talty 27242 15%
        HITLER DID NOTHING WRONG 21453 12%

        Great showing by Johnson but HITLER is only 3 points away from a seat at the debate. Should be pretty interesting what with that whole cake controversy.

  7. Johnson is swelling?

    Polls are rising?

  8. *dick joke*

    1. *funny and original response to dick joke*

  9. “(he needs to hit 15 percent)”

    No he doesn’t, he needs to appear at a debate which is set up to attract at least some public interest.

    Hence my suggestion: Some celebrity should invite Trump, Hillary and the 3rd party candidates to a debate. If Trump and Hillary don’t show up, then some Democratic and Republican buddies of the celebrity host show up as substitutes.

    So let’s say some bigshot sponsors a debate where Olivia Wilde makes the case for Hillary and Tila Tequila makes the case for Trump (I confirmed their respective positions). And the 3rd party candidates would be there too.

    Would you watch, or not?

    1. Hence my suggestion: Some celebrity should invite Trump, Hillary and the 3rd party candidates to a debate.

      Hillary and Trump– especially Hillary would never agree to such a forum.

      First rule of politics: never agree to a debate where you have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

      If Trump and Hillary don’t show up, then some Democratic and Republican buddies of the celebrity host show up as substitutes.

      Having a debate with [cardboard cutout] never really does anything to sway voters. And no one on the Dem or Republican side as the stand-in would be sanctioned by the parties or their candidates.

      1. Both candidates are personality cults, anyway. Hilldog’s positions on issues change every few months; Trump’s entire campaign is premised on “Trust me, only I can fix things.” The surrogates just wouldn’t work.

        1. I’m thinking of that as a nuclear option to scare the candidates into showing up.

          There’s lots of Democratic and even Republican celebrities who have movies to promote and so on, and who maybe think that this is the Most Important Election Since the Invention Of Ever, so the voters need to be warned against the temptation of voting third party.

          So go to work on them – “Ms. Wilde, with your influence over the young women of America, you need to go out and discourage this horrible Jill Stein trend – show that the fate of the planet hinges on putting Hillary in the White House instead of throwing their vote away.”

          Stroke their egos, tell them never mind the urgent calls from the official campaigns warning them not to debate third-party candidates, it’s up to them, the celebrities, to set the voters right.

    2. Something something Olivia Wilde, Tila Tequila, and my Johnson…

      1. Tila Tequila? You into shaved Ewoks, Derp-o?

    3. Some celebrity should invite Trump, Hillary and the 3rd party candidates to a debate.

      Is Katherine Mangu-Ward considered a celebrity?

      I would watch.

  10. Would the Johnson-Weld campaign be flattered or flummoxed by millions of dollars of negative ads from the Clinton camp in order to scare away voters from voting libertarian?

    1. That would be the best thing that could happen for Johnson. In his position, there’s no such thing as bad media exposure.

  11. Libertarian candidate now getting more Google searches than in 2012.

    Bad news for GayJay and the GOP-lite. The more the voters know about him the less votes he’s going to get.

  12. I’m got $92 an hour working from home. I See when my neighbor told me she was averaging $120 but I see how it works now. I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss. Check It out what I do..

    ========? http://www.Alpha-Careers.com

  13. “Gary Johnson” still never shows up in the sub-search list in Google News though, not even in the “Elections” section. Either the kibosh is on from the Dems at Google, or people aren’t searching for him very much.

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