Update: Christie roared past Paul today
Internet interest in Gov. Chris Christie has for the first time eclipsed that of the Presidential front-runners as Christie reportedly continues to weigh entrance into the field.
A search of trends on the internet search engine Google shows interest in Christie has spiked this week as speculation over his future ambitions roiled the Presidential field.
Interest in Christie among internet searchers has topped even Sarah Palin, who has historically generated huge search numbers on Google.
Only U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) continues to generate more Google searches than Christie. Paul has a hugely loyal following, particularly among Tea Party members, but most polls and pundits put him squarely behind at least Mitt Romney and Perry in the race for the nomination.
“We think this is a pretty good proxy for offline behavior,” said Google spokesman Jake Parillo. “Google would never claim that this predicts who people are voting for, but we think it’s a good proxy for interest.”
But Google may be selling itself short as a predictor of results. In the special election to replace Anthony Weiner in New York’s 9th District, Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin were neck and neck among searchers until Sept. 11 when Turner began to pull ahead. On Sept. 13, Turner, a Republican, won the seat in what had been a Democratic seat for generations.
Just ahead of last summer’s Iowa Straw Poll, Michelle Bachmann led all other declared candidates in search popularity, followed by Paul. The two finished one and two in the contest.
Google does not release raw search numbers. The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.