Feb 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

The parts of America paying closest attention to the Russia-Ukraine crisis

Data: Google Trends; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Russia's talk of invading Ukraine has now captured America's attention, although residents in some congressional districts are paying closer attention than others, according to new Google Trends data and analysis.

Why it matters: Some Republicans criticized President Biden on Tuesday for not taking stronger actions. Some Democrats have largely supported his focus on diplomacy. It's unclear how much the issue will affect the midterms in November — but right now, interest among potential voters is growing.

  • The districts visualized in the accompanying map reflect congressional maps in effect as of Feb. 1. Some of the lines will change as the once-per-decade redistricting process continues this year across the country.
  • Google measures search interest on a scale of 0-100, which reflects the percentage of total Google searches dedicated to a topic.

By the numbers: Nationwide, searches for the "MOEX Russia Index" increased +4,900% in the past day, and use of the terms “russia ukraine news latest update” increased +1,750% over the past week, Google Trends' Simon Rogers notes in his Tuesday newsletter.

  • Congressional districts encompassing Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Buffalo, New York, saw high interest in the search term "Russia" earlier than most other districts.
  • During the past week, "Russia" made up the greatest percentage of Google searches in the newly drawn district for Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), whose territory includes Monterey, California.
  • The Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, as well as other military bases and communities in other high-ranking areas could explain the interest in some districts.

The districts with the highest percentage of Google searches for "Russia" in the past week were:

  1. CA-19: Jimmy Panetta (D)
  2. CO-05: Doug Lamborn (R)
  3. NY-26: Brian Higgins (D)
  4. CA-51: Sara Jacobs (D)
  5. MA-03: Lori Trahan (D)
  6. AZ-02: Tom O'Halleran (D)
  7. CT-04: Jim Himes (D)
  8. WA-10: Marilyn Strickland (D)
  9. VA-11: Gerry Connolly (D)
  10. CA-49: Mike Levin (D)

What to watch: Axios and Google Trends have been looking at congressional-level Google search trends across the country.

  • Keep an eye out for future projects in the coming months.
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