Trump Win Spurs Surge In ‘How to Move to Canada’ Searches
Was Donald Trump’s resounding victory on Super Tuesday reason enough for some to consider moving to Canada?
Google (GOOG) searches in the U.S. relating to moving to Canada surged 350% on Super Tuesday after the voting results started trickling in last night, according to Simon Rogers, a data editor at Google, via his Twitter (TWTR) account last night.
An analysis of Google Trends, which shows interest in search queries over a period of time, showed a significant spike in “move to Canada” searches last night. While the query quieted down in the early morning, interest hit an even higher level as people woke up this morning—presumably after hearing the primary and caucus results. Variations of the query, including “move to Canada if Trump wins,” were also on rise this morning, according to Google Trends data.
Meanwhile, Canada’s site for immigration and citizenship is displaying a warning saying that it’s dealing with an “issue,” and users “may experience delays while using the website.” It’s unknown when that issue started and whether it could have been caused by U.S.-based searches.
The findings were first discovered by Mashable.
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In addition to showing interest in searches, Google Trends shows where those searches originated. Ironically, Massachusetts, the state in which Trump won most easily on Super Tuesday, had the highest interest in searching for ways out of the U.S. It was followed by New York, Washington, and Texas, respectively.
The search surge may or may not have anything to do with Donald Trump. Indeed, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had a similarly successful night on Super Tuesday, easily beating her competitor Bernie Sanders, and it’s possible that at least some of that surge could be attributed to her success. However, Trump has been one of the most divisive forces this political season, drawing ire from both Republicans and Democrats.
On Super Tuesday, the #NeverTrump hashtag was shared across social media by establishment Republicans scared to see Trump’s name as their Republican nominee. Meanwhile, an anti-Trump super PAC, Our Principles PAC, was formed by several prominent Republicans. Talk of a brokered convention, in which one of Trump’s contenders would steal the nomination from him, continues to heat up. Some broadcasters last night even suggested that Trump could splinter the Republican Party.
Still, Trump continues to win—and easily at that. He won seven of the states contested last night and secured nearly 50% of the vote in Massachusetts and Alabama. He lost Alaska, Oklahoma, and Texas to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Minnesota to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), but still has a commanding lead in delegate count. Looking ahead to the upcoming primaries, Trump is winning among likely voters and could sweep the delegate-heavy Ohio and Florida, making it harder for his many competitors to nab the nomination.
So, while Google Trends data shows how searches are increasing or decreasing in intensity, it’s unclear how many people actually considered the idea of moving to Canada, and at least right now, Trump seems to have the support of a large portion of the Republican electorate. Indeed, it’s possible Google searches related to moving to Canada were small in number. It is clear, though, that the queries spiked after Super Tuesday.
Regardless of what may have caused the spike, the pattern of searches related to moving to Canada seem to be tied to U.S. elections. In 2012, searches for moving to Canada spiked between November 4 and November 10. The U.S. presidential election that saw President Barack Obama easily beat Republican candidate Mitt Romney, was held on November 6. Similar surges to the search term occurred during the 2004 and 2008 elections as well.