Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) is all over the news. But America doesn’t seem to care. According to Google Trends data, normal people aren’t hanging on every detail of the figments of his imagination. Three charts tell the story.
The first is the total search volume for Santos. As expected, Americans started Googling Santos when national reporters learned of the fantastical lies in his biography.
But Santos’s search volume is less impressive when it’s compared with that of other Republicans.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) consistently earns more searches than Santos. And the search interest for McCarthy at his peak — during his protracted fight for the gavel — dwarfed Santos at his highest.
Adding the top candidates for the GOP presidential nomination — Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — drives the point home.
DeSantis’s blowout reelection victory in Florida earned him much more traffic than Santos ever had. Trump’s 2024 presidential announcement towered over DeSantis’s win. And, as I documented previously, Americans were more interested in normal news events such as World Cup soccer than they were in Trump’s 2024 announcement.
Santos’s ethical struggles do matter: If he’s ousted from Congress, McCarthy would lose a crucial vote in the upcoming fight over the debt ceiling, where the stakes include a potential global financial catastrophe.
But the daily airing of Santos’s latest insane fabrication is mostly a diversion for political junkies and Washington.