What Google Autocomplete tells us about the 2016 presidential candidates

What do people want to know about the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates? 
Look no further than Google Autocomplete, which offers a spectacular window into the way we think.

With a little more than a year before the November 2016 vote, Americans want to know everything about the Republicans and Democrats who might be on the ballot. Here are some insights into what they are searching:

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the most searched candidate on Google according to statistics from Google Trends, and the clear frontrunner in the Democratic race. She is also, arguably, the most well-known White House hopeful.

But for some, her well-known foreign policy experience as the former Secretary of State is not helping her 2016 campaign. The revelations that she was using a private email address and server during her time in office and controversy over the Benghazi attack have left some questioning her trustworthiness. 

Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley, another Democrat, is the former Governor of Maryland and was once the Mayor of Baltimore. But the city that defined his political career while he served as mayor from 1999 to 2007 has been through its share of tough times in recent years. For many, the first glimpse of that was through HBO's popular drama The Wire, which unpacked the political corruption and drug issues impacting the city. 

David Simon, the show's creator, told The Atlantic that "the character of Tommy Carcetti — the ambitious white-ethnic councilman who rises to the mayoralty, and then the governorship, based on manipulated crime-reduction statistics — is a composite inspired partly by O’Malley." And despite protest from O'Malley, who once said he hated the show, he still has not escaped the legacy of The Wire
 and its association with his political style.

Bernie Sanders

If Google search auto-fill is anything to go by, Americans are divided over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The results range from labeling him as "awesome" and "the man" to "a loon." But despite that, Sanders is picking up popularity and gaining steam in the push toward 2016. Sander's anti-establishment message seems to be appealing, at least to some voters, who see him as an alternative to Clinton. But his socialist policies are a little hard to swallow for some. 

Jim Webb

Jim Webb, former Virginia Senator and the man of the constantly stern facial expression, is not the best known candidate looking for the Democratic nomination in 2016. But his firm foreign policy stance, dating back to his time as Navy Secretary and a Marine war hero, are of interest to Google users.

And Google seems to be confusing him with 1970's singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb, so there's that.
For more on what people want to know about the 2016 candidates, Google Trends also has a great breakdown of the top questions asked about each candidate.

Google Trends also offers a great breakdown of the popularity of each candidate on Google search. According to information from Google Trends, Hillary Clinton is the candidate whose name is most-searched nationwide in the past six months.

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