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Sleuthing Search Trends At The DNC & RNC

While I’m sure no one would disagree that politics in America have been pretty entertaining lately, we decided to kick it up a notch with a dataset showing search trends in both convention host cities the weeks of each event. Think you can guess what event attendees and locals are searching for? You might be surprised.

The Washington Post compared the data side by side with a handy visual. Looks like attendees at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are hot for Hawaiian food, gay bars, massage therapy, and guns and ammo, while Democratic National Convention folks were checking out distilleries, Mongolian food, cosmetic surgeons and go karts. Here’s how the search trends break down.

Republican National Convention

Food & Nightlife Categories

Hawaiian + 623% compared to -65% at DNC

Gay Bars + 45% compared to +18% at DNC

Dive Bars +40% compared to +7% at DNC

Hot Dogs + 38% compared to -17% at DNC

Greek + 36% compared to -2% at DNC

Wine Bars + 31% compared to – 7% at DNC

Comfort Food + 28% compared to 0% change at DNC

Pizza + 24% compared to 6% at DNC

Ice Cream + 16% compared to -31% at DNC

Burgers + 16% compared to -1% at DNC

Non-Food Categories

Massage Therapy + 178% compared to -1% at DNC

Guns and Ammo + 79% compared to -12% at DNC

Men’s Clothing + 72% compared to -2% at DNC

Women’s Clothing + 50% compared -9% at DNC

Comic Books + 53% compared to – 35% at DNC

Golf +34% compared to -32% at DNC

Sign Making + 24% compared to 1.5% at DNC

Democratic National Convention

Food & Nightlife Categories

Distilleries + 74% compared to 0% at RNC

Mongolian + 48% compared to -24% at RNC

Kosher + 35% compared to -13% at RNC

Vegan + 33% compared to -2% at RNC

Mediterranean + 32% compared to -2% at RNC

Karaoke + 20% compared to -4% at RNC

Vegetarian + 20% compared to -3% at the RNC

Bagels + 13% compared to -8% at RNC

Adult Entertainment + 3% compared to -20% at RNC

Non-Food Categories

Cosmetic Surgeons + 68% compared to -47% at RNC

Go Karts + 69% compared to -30% at RNC

Tattoo + 42% compared to -2% at RNC

Acupuncture + 25% compared to -25% at RNC

Arcade + 20% compared to -5% for RNC

Churches +17% compared to +7% at RNC

Spray Tanning + 12% compared to -9% at RNC

Business Insider and Eater also got in on the action, noting that the variety of search terms is even more intriguing considering that the conventions draw not only party loyalists, but protestors and media too. Who searched for what? We can’t say, but we imagine their Yelp searches led to some interesting run ins!

Want to know more about how we dig into Yelp data to find all these golden nuggets of consumer behavior? Keep an eye on the Yelp Engineering blog, where I’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes methodology on this political project in the coming weeks.