BLOG: The National Conventions According to Google

Ann Romney stole the show, Tuesday night, at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.  That’s not just this reporter’s opinion from watching hours of live C-Span coverage; that’s what the folks at Google tell me.  Abbi Tatton with the Google Elections Team says Ann Romney apparently succeeded in showing off the warmer, softer side of her husband because the subsequent deluge Google searches focused not just on her name – but on the personal details of her family.

Google searches for Ann Romney on Tuesday night topped those for her husband by 50%, and easily bested the number of searches for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who actually delivered Tuesday’s keynote address.  In Gov. Christie’s defense however, I couldn’t even stay awake long enough to catch the start of his post-10:30pm speech, let alone do any web searching about it.

Republicans will likely be pleased to hear that Google trends show an increasing number of searches for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in key states like Pennsylvania.  However, they still lag the overall number of searches related to President Barack Obama.  Also, they’re not always about politics.  “As the top related search term around Paul Ryan’s name, over the last couple of weeks, has been shirtless,” Abbi Tatton says. “People seem to want to see what this potential vice president will look like without his shirt on.”

That’s apparently a tip of the cap to Mr. Ryan’s well-known regard for a high-intensity workout routine called P90X.  While my own Google search for “Paul Ryan Shirtless” turned up 1.34-million results in a fraction of a second, I declined to click on any of them.

The Google Elections Team will be at the Democratic National Convention too, and we’ll check back with them next week for a look at what’s trending in Charlotte.

RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 08.17.12

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman and Matt Paul update you on Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law, now that the Commonwealth Court has issued a key ruling; Matt talks to a state lawmaker about property tax reform; and we have new poll numbers on the presidential race in Pennsylvania.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:


New Franklin and Marshall College Poll Shows Santorum with Large Lead in Pennsylvania

The latest Franklin and Marshall College poll shows Senator Rick Santorum with a large lead over Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania.   Poll Director Terry Madonna says the 45% to 16% advantage is evidence the Santorum surge has hit the former Senator’s state.

But Madonna says the race in Pennsylvania is still volatile.  When they asked Santorum and Romney supporters if they planned to stick with their candidate or if they were still making up their minds, 46% say they are still making up their minds.  Madonna says Santorum and Romney are the second choice among the other’s supporters, showing it’s a two person race.

Madonna adds that the November contest could be close in Pennsylvania as well.  In the poll taken this month, President Obama’s lead on Santorum was down to 7% in the state, while Romney trails the president by 8%.

Madonna says Santorum could face problems in a match up with President Obama over his socially conservative positions.  He says those issues were a problem with swing voters in 2006, when Santorum lost re-election to the U. S. Senate to Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.

Madonna says when asked whether President Obama deserves re-election, a majority of voters in Pennsylvania do not feel he does, but that gap is closing. He says the President’s job numbers are getting a little better in the state. The number of voters saying it’s time for a change has slipped under 50%.

Meanwhile, on state issues, just a third of those polled believe Pennsylvania is heading in the right and 56%   feel things are off on the wrong track. 

Madonna says when the voters are asked about Governor Tom Corbett’s ability to handle the state’s budget problems, 55% were very or somewhat confident.

Still, 66% strongly oppose reducing funding for local school districts. Madonna says almost half of those polled favor a combination of budget cuts and tax increases to balance the budget. The poll shows strong support for new taxes on smokeless tobacco and cigars.