Every computer using human needs another human who has agreed to delete their Google search history in the event of their untimely death. Unfortunately for the American public, however, while we're all still alive, there are analysts busily receiving our collective search engine data and trying to figure out what the fuck is going through our addled, overworked, underlearned brains this election. Unsurprisingly, the picture this country's political search results is painting is of a group of slack jawed mouth breathers who are nine times more interested in learning how Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's nipples look than how his untenable budget works. That is an actual fact. Nine times more shirtless searches than budget searches. Xenu help us.
The New York Times has consulted an economist by the name of Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who seems like an affable fellow charged with the unpleasant and embarrassing task of analyzing what US voters search for when they think no one is watching. And while he may not know about how you spent one drunken night searching feverishly for Monica Lewinsky-themed porn, he does know the general patterns that peoples' political searches seem to follow.
For example, people in blue states are more likely to Google "Barack Obama" and "Willard Mitt Romney," whereas people in red states are more of the "BARACK HUSSESIN OBAMA" and "Mitt Romney" Googling set. About 1 in every 100 searches involving Barack Obama on election day 2008 involved either the n-word or the KKK (AMERICA THE WTF). And, this time around, people in Iowa and Ohio are Googling "Mitt Romney jokes."
Knock knock? Who's there? A suicide prevention counselor. We found out about the Mitt Romney jokes Google search, and are considering it a cry for help.
Stephens-Davidowitz takes the data he's able to dredge from our Google search results, the slime trail of the slug that is our depraved little minds, and attempt to glean who will show up on election day, and who they'll vote for. Black Americans, for example, are just about as interested in voting this year as they were in 2008, which should bode well for the President. Evangelicals are also very interested, which should bode well for Mitt Romney.
But perhaps the most telling factoid from this election season's search history isn't who will show up, but what the people who show up actually know about who they're voting for (or against). Google users are dramatically less interested in specific details of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's plans for this country's future than they are in what they look like sans clothing. And while, thankfully, "Mitt Romney's penis" isn't among the candidate's top Google searches yet, voters seem keenly interested in what sort of underwear he wears.
But he'll never tell. That's Mittoria's Secret. #MITTROMNEYJOKES