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Google Trends indicates which political attacks on Biden and Trump are working.

By Curt Anderson
July 5, 2020 11:09 pm
Category: Politics

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While Biden is running a low-key campaign, Trump's modus operandi is to diminish his opponents with insulting nicknames. Axios recently reported that "Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016." See "Trump's failing culture wars"

We looked to see how other invectives hurled by Trump and/or his supporters were working against Biden. In most cases, they seem to backfire on Trump.

In all cases, Biden searches are represented by the blue lines, Trump searches are represented by a red lines. The dotted lines at the end of the some of the graphs represent Google's "forecast" of how often the terms will be searched for in the near future.

Fitness for office issue searches


Biden vs. Trump: Unstable


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Trump himself calls himself a "stable genius". Based on Google searches, Americans seem to doubt Trump's self-assessment.

Biden vs. Trump: Unfit


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Biden says that the Trump is unfit for office. That seems to be working somewhat, but people seem have similar concerns about Biden.

Biden vs. Trump: Too old


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


The two septuagenarians are about equal on the "too old" front.

Biden vs. Trump: Dementia


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Dementia is a more promising line of attack for Trump to use against Biden. This makes the debates a critical test for Joe Biden. Paradoxically, it lowers the bar for Biden: he doesn't have to win the debates, he needs only to demonstrate that he doesn't have diminished capacity.

Biden vs. Trump: Health Problems


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)



Biden vs. Trump: Mental Problems


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Trump's Tulsa rally and his long explanation for his dainty walk down a ramp and his two-handed drinking at West Point seemed to cause an increase in people wondering about Trump's mental problems.

To make a general observation based on their searches, people seem to have concerns about Biden's possible senility and they have concerns about Trump's possible psychological issues.

Credibility issue searches


Biden vs. Trump: Liar


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Biden's big spike coincides with when he was was the subject of false claims that he had the Ukrainian chief prosecutor fired to protect his son, Hunter.



Biden vs. Trump: Fact check


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Trump's big spoke coincides when he falsely claimed a "Rogue" Michigan official sent absentee ballots to 7.7 million people “illegally and without authorization” ahead of the primaries and general election. Also in that time period, Trump made thinly veiled allegations that Joe Scarborough murdered one of his staffers.

Criminal, ethical and moral issue searches


Biden vs. Trump: Corruption


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


When Burisma was first in the news, people searched for Biden and corruption. It gained a resurgence during Trump's impeachment hearings, then the issue died off as it related to Biden.

Biden vs. Trump: Rape


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)



Biden vs. Trump: Sexual Assault


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


The rape and sexual assault lines of attack worked against Biden as Tara Reade rolled out her salacious allegations against Joe Biden which culminated in an accusation of digital penetration. The searches related to Biden petered out when Reade's story was more thoroughly vetted. Additionally, Reade is being investigated for making false statements under oath on related matters. Bringing up anything to do with inappropriate sex hurts Trump more than Biden. Evidently aware that he lives in a glass house, Trump himself has mostly steered clear of the topic.

Biden vs. Trump: Racist


Source (Blue line=Biden; Red line=Trump)


Biden's name was connected to the term "racist" mostly after his "you ain't Black" interview with Charlamagne Tha God. But Trump trumped him quickly in that category with his not so empathetic reaction to George Floyd's death and the subsequent protests.


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