A recent post on the New York Times Campaign Stops blog discusses all sorts of Google search-related political factoids. The point of the analysis is, for the Times' purpose, to act as a predictor (or, the article's title puts it, a "crystal ball") for the election. But it also offers up important information about how often people do things like search for topless photos of Paul Ryan, or, on the more depressing end of the spectrum, how often people searched for "Obama" in conjunction with "KKK." Here are some of more interesting searches:

  • 5,000 people a month ask about Mitt Romney's underwear
  • "Paul Ryan Shirtless" is nine times more popular a search than "Paul Ryan budget" (to be fair, Ryan probably spends 900% more time working out than he does working on his allegedly math-intensive budget)
  • Red states are more likely to search for "Barack Hussein Obama" whereas blue states search more frequently for "Willard Mitt Romney"
  • There were spikes in searches for "McCain life expectancy" after Sarah Palin was named as his vice presidential candidate; ditto for the day after Palin's famous interview with Katie Couric.

And, of course, there were plenty of idiotic and/or racist searches too:

  • 1 in 100 searches for Obama on election day in 2008 also included "KKK" or "nigger"
  • "Michelle Obama ugly" receives three times as many searches as "Michelle Obama beautiful"
  • States in which Obama underperformed in 2008 were also the states that searched most often for "Obama Muslim"

In related news, there are only 16 days left until the election. What will we even talk about once that happens?

[Image via AP]