Back in August, when Donald Trump was perceived as a political novelty, explaining away the enormous amount of search interest he generated--more than the other 15 Republican candidates combined--may have sounded plausible.
Fast-forward to December. Five 'debates' are in the books and perpetual campaign coverage has now run from the hottest month of the year through to the coldest. Novelty has lost its explanatory power, if it ever possessed any. Yet Trump continues to elicit information-seeking on a prodigious scale:
In fact, he is dominating even more completely than he was several months back. Through December, he drew more than twice as many search inquiries as the rest of the GOP field combined. That's right, sum the interest in the rest of the Republican field, double it, and it still doesn't match Trump on his own. Just a month out from the beginning of the primaries, one would assume that diligent Republican voters are starting to do their research on the entire field, a behavior that would presumably narrow Trump's advantage rather than widen it, but here we are.
Not only is Trump trouncing the entire Republican field, he's crushing the Democrat side as well, drawing nearly three times as much search interest as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders combined:
The Trump phenomenon is unlike anything else that has occurred in American politics during the internet age. Ron Paul peeked in January of 2008. At that point he garnered one-third the interest that Trump is currently getting. Before becoming president, Obama peaked in primary-heavy February of the same year. That peak is where Trump is now. For an apples-to-apples comparison, consider that in December of 2007 Obama garnered just one-seventh of the interest Trump did this December.
Keep in mind that this isn't a measure of news story mentions or opinion polling outcomes, it's a measure of selected search terms relative to the entire universe of searches inputted by Google users across the US. People want to read, hear, and talk about Trump.
Parenthetically, regarding the sacrilegious headline, well: