Google Trends is a new service where you can track how popular a particular search word or phrase is, as well as see how many news stories were run through Google News in the same period. The data goes back to the beginning of 2004 and of course I certainly had to run the obvious search: republican vs democrat vs libertarian:
I immediately noticed three things about this:
- Sprinting and halting: Any momentum gained from the 2004 Badnarik campaign was pretty much sqaundered or lost after the election (I blame this on LP National’s disinterest at the time), but it seems even the Republicans and Democrats haven’t figured out how to teach that dog to hunt.
- Media out of touch with audience: Even with a substantial spike in search interest for libertarian information in November 2004 (no doubt due to the Badnarik candidacy), the amount of news generated that contained the word libertarian in any sense barely changed (compare to dems and repubs who also notably spiked in news). Hell, our guy was arrested trying to get into the debates, you would think that would be newsworthy.
- Serious lack of growth: Interest in all things “libertarian” is essentially flatlined and not growing at any discernable rate. While we may pat ourselves on the back for several things over the past couple years (zero dues, LLS, and well… a blog), we are not making enough impact to spur voters to seek us out. This is our biggest hurdle.
Side note: Google Trends is awesome simply for the fact that the first three color codes just happen to be blue, red, orange.
Update: Truth in Tech takes a look at… the results are equally dismal.