HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz has garnered attention across Pennsylvania and the nation, with millions of dollars being spent over the air, some ads running back-to-back-to-back for television viewers.
To help voters decide who will represent them in the United State Senate, abc27 will host an exclusive primetime debate between Fetterman and Oz on Oct. 25.
The one-hour debate will be broadcast and livestreamed in all 67 counties starting at 8 p.m.
Leading up to the debate, we’re seeing a clear picture of who Pennsylvania voters are Googling ahead of the election.
The chart below shows Google search trends within Pennsylvania for both Fetterman and Oz.
Here’s a look at who Pennsylvanians are searching for on Google since April 1, 2022, with highlights of the campaign noted.
According to Google, the Google Trends tool “normalizes search data to make comparisons between terms easier. Search results are then normalized to the time and location of a query by the following process:
- Each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents to compare relative popularity. Otherwise, places with the most search volume would always be ranked highest.
- The resulting numbers are then scaled on a range of 0 to 100 based on a topic’s proportion to all searches on all topics.
- Different regions that show the same search interest for a term don’t always have the same total search volumes.”
Oz’s primary campaign stretched into the courts after his race against Dave McCormick started the runoff when the two candidates finished within 1% of each other. McCormick conceded the race to Oz on June 3.
Despite not campaigning in public while recovering from his stroke, Fetterman has dominated Oz in Google searches.
Two viral video moments for both candidates led to a bump for Fetterman on Google.
The first was a video released by Fetterman’s campaign of “Jersey Shore” cast member Snooki asking Oz why he would leave his home state of New Jersey for a new job.
The second was in response to a video from the Oz campaign where he highlighted the cost of a crudités at “Wegners,” appearing to flub the name of either Wegmans or Redner’s grocery stores.
Google searches in Pennsylvania for “crudités” outranked Dr. Oz in two weeks since Aug. 1. Overall, Oz has more search traffic in that time period than what Fetterman dubbed a “veggie tray.”
Google searches for the names Dr. Oz and Mehmet Oz were relatively similar with peaks coming during the May primary election. Oz’s name did receive a larger search trend nationally to Fetterman between November 2021 and April 2022, but within Pennsylvania Fetterman remained ahead throughout the race.
According to Google Trends, searches for Dr. Oz were higher than for John Fetterman in 49 other states and the District of Columbia, with Pennsylvania finishing 51st over the last 12 months. The states that searched for Dr. Oz the most were Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Alabama.
Search traffic for John Fetterman compared to Oz was highest in Pennsylvania, followed by Washington, D.C.; Vermont; Alaska; and Connecticut.
With a month until the general election, both candidates received a bump in search traffic; however, Fetterman maintained his dominance in Google search traffic.