For the first time since 1988, Pennsylvania donned Republican red in the 2016 election.
The state had long considered a Democratic stronghold based on its large cities and substantial working-class population. In 2016, Pennsylvania was one of the crucial states, along with Michigan and Wisconsin, in electing Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
While most regions voted more heavily Republican, the region which saw the greatest swing away from the Democratic Party toward Trump was the Northeastern region. In Lackawanna County, home to Scranton, Trump won 11 percent more of the vote than Mitt Romney did in 2012 and in Schuylkill County, just south of Lackawanna, Trump brought home 14 percent more of the vote.
Northeastern Pennsylvania had long been home to the coal mining and steel industries. When these industries left, with increasing globalization, it created a large class of unemployed, and largely white, working class voters 一 the demographic that was key to Trump’s election.
These voters had long voted Democratic 一 based on strong union ties 一 but Trump’s economic populist message, based on the idea that “horrible” trade deals, such as NAFTA, were taking away industrial jobs, swayed many of these voters to switch their party allegiance.
Trump’s success in Pennsylvania spilled over into other elections, most notably the senate race where Pat Toomey was narrowly reelected over Katie McGinty, a former environmental advisor to President Bill Clinton and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency.
On Jan. 27, Washington, D.C., saw its third major event of the past week as people gathered for the 43rd annual March for Life to protest abortion.
But less than a week earlier, on Jan. 21, some 500,000 people gathered in the same place — and at locations all over the country — for the first annual Women’s March to protest for the protection of a woman’s right to choose, among other things.
While the Women’s March was not centered on abortion, it did take a stance in favor of abortion rights. The Women’s March released a policy document stating that the march supported “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people.” One day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, it drew massive crowds not only to the nation’s capital but also to cities around the world.
Here’s a comparison of the amount of Google searches globally in the past 10 days for both the Women’s March and the March for Life. Both peaked on their respective march days, but the Women’s March generated nearly four times as many searches on its protest day than the March for Life did.
In addition, the Women’s March showed continued interest in the days following the protest. Since it was the first of its kind, it most likely drew questions about its crowd size, platform and mission. Also happening to fall on President Trump’s first day in office, it was a rally against his past statements and actions that many deemed misogynistic and reprehensible.
On the other hand, in its 43rd year, the March for Life has become a more established, well-known protest with imaginably fewer questions surrounding its premise. This year, however, Vice President Mike Pence became the first vice president to speak at the rally.
While the Women’s March did take a pro-abortion stance, its platform included a wide range of social issues, such as immigration reform, healthcare reform and LGBTQ rights, that provided pro-life men and women a chance to rally for other issues.
Here’s how the topics fared in Indiana on Google search:
If Google searches are any indication, it’s no surprise that Indiana Governor Mike Pence is headed to Washington, D.C., as vice president.
Pence easily outdistanced Democratic VP candidate Tim Kaine in Google searches over the past year, both nationally and in Indiana, according to analysis of Google search data.
The charts below illustrate a “normalization” of searches for Pence, which peaked last summer with his selection by Donald Trump as running mate. He also saw considerable peaks during the VP debate and, of course, Election Day and its aftermath.
Google Searches for Mike Pence and Tim Kaine in the U.S. (past year)
Google Searches in Indiana for Mike Pence and Tim Kaine (past year)
Google Searches for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the U.S. (past year)