Archived: 'Registrarse para votar' Web Search Spikes During Debate

Search may indicate intention.


By Sheryl Estrada

During the first televised presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Trump on Monday, searches for the phrase “registrarse para votar,” or “register to vote” in Spanish, spiked, hitting an all-time high upward to more than 100,000 searches.

According to the Washington Post, the term was Google’s third spiking or trending search in the U.S. at 10:30 p.m. The search volume for “registrarse para votar” on Google was highest in Florida, followed by New Jersey, New York, Texas and California. The search was preceded only by two phrases related to the Houston shooting.

The last comparable spike during the current election cycle happened on Aug. 31. That was the day Trump made his speech in Phoenix on immigration:

“This election is our last chance to secure the border, stop illegal immigration, and reform our laws to make your life better,” Trump said.

Related Story:Trump to ‘Suspend immigration,’ Proposes Ideological Tests for Immigrants

The search volume also increased after both the Republican and Democratic conventions in July.

A Pew Research Center survey issued in July found Latinos are more likely to vote for Clinton, giving the former secretary of state a 66-24 percent advantage over Trump.

After the first presidential debate in 2012, the search for “registrarse para votar” spiked as well. According to national exit polls conducted after the 2012 election, President Barack Obama garnered 71 percent of the Latino vote (Romney received 27 percent). Obama’s national vote share among Latinos was the highest for a Democratic candidate since 1996, according to an analysis of the exit polls by Pew.

Google announced on Monday it has expanded its voter information guides in Google Search to Spanish:

“We’ve already added in-depth information in Search for registration and how to vote, and now we’re adding this same information in Spanish. Now both Spanish and English speakers will be able to get custom, state-by-state information on key registration deadlines, when to get to the polls, and even steps on how to vote early or by mail. We hope this feature helps simplify the registration process for more American voters.”

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