21 July 2016

What If America is Not as Frightened as Trump Thinks?

If Americans are frightened by Trump's oratory, Trump will win. What are they afraid of in his eyes? Crime, illegal immigration, and the economy.

So what does Google Trends - which monitors the pulse of American's interest through its search, say about these topics?

Do American's searches suggest that they're more interested in a good or bad economy?

As you can see above, "bad economy" peaked during the Great Recession. Since about 2012, sentiment has decidedly turned towards "good economy." It's even stronger than it was pre-recession.

What about illegal immigration? Trump has said that before he came along this issue was largely ignored. 

As you can see, the peak mention of illegal immigration was about April of 2006. Since then it has largely faded in terms of the number of searches. Not really an issue new to Trump and certainly not bigger in the minds of Americans since his campaign began.

Finally, what about crime? Even cops are being shot. Surely people are upset about this?

Crime searches are higher than they were just a year ago. Curiously, they are still lower than they were in February 20011 and considerably lower than November 2005.

It is not just public perceptions as measured through this window of searches that suggests these hot buttons Trump is pushing are not that hot. Illegal immigration, unemployment, and even the number of police officers shot is down from what it was in previous administrations. Reality and perception alike indicate that these aren't big issues for Americans.

Donald is certainly pushing buttons. It's not obvious that they're wired into the country's collective anxieties. 

Finally, two favorite snapshots of Republican National Convention.

Ted Cruz tells convention attendees to "Vote your conscience," and gets booed off the stage.

Trump and Pence stand on stage at the convention's close with their families to sound of Rolling Stones playing, "You Can't Always Get What You Want."


Bald Al said...

Change your "If Americans are afraid, Trump will win" sentence to "Americans are afraid Trump will win" and you'll have my fears summarized.

As for the GOP in total, it's pretty bad for the Party when the Koch brothers are seriously considering backing the Democratic nominee instead of their own Party Presidential candidate. Trump being the Party nominee is a significant boost to Hillary's campaign.

jay are said...

It's pretty pathetic when the best way to ensure support is to make people afraid---even of things they hadn't yet thought to be afraid of. How is that making anything great again? Where were the details to allay the supposed fears? Where were the details, even, of how anything was going to get "greater" again? It's mystifying and surreal to see all of this happening.

Ron Davison said...

Al & Jay
It still boggles the mind that pushing these buttons has gotten him this far. What he does and says is so often absurd or horrifying or both, as if Monty Python had teamed with Wes Craven.

jay are said...

This could explain some of it:


Bald Al said...

Ron, first and foremost, Trump is a Marketing machine. I have every belief History will mark him as one of the best Huckster's to ever have walked the earth. The guy is so convincing because he 100% believes whatever he says. It's as if he has 2 personalities. Personality #1 is the Barnum & Bailey, Religious Cult, bold, brash, 100% self-confident leader while Personality #2 is the shy guy desperately wanting attention, love & acceptance who thus believes, without question, everything Personality #1 says, which in turn continues to fuel Personality #1, who continues to speak whatever is on his mind, and the cycle repeats. Trump's followers are all like Personality #2. They would rather follow bold, brash Trump instead of somebody like Hillary Clinton because Trump says whatever he wants. So many of the general public are simply tired of "politician speak", not to mention the thought of another Clinton in the White House is VERY much a worry many have. Mostly Republican.

Jay, thank you for posting the link. Have to admit I agree with the writer. I can almost hear the purple dinosaur Barney song lyrics altered and sung by Trump: "I love me, You love me, I'll win big just wait and see. I'll build that wall and Mexico will pay. Trust in me and what I say."

Ron Davison said...

Jay - I do agree with this argument. I posted about my perception that this was a marketing and not a political campaign earlier this month:


Allen - I do think that Donald craves attention the way that other addicts crave cocaine or alcohol. But that raises a question: Is it still narcissism if millions believe that you're great?

Bald Al said...

Now Ron, you know that Trump isn't a narcissist. He's just humble. So humble, in fact, that we just can't understand. No, Trump isn't a narcissist. Just ask him. He'll tell you.