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What Hoosiers are Googling before the Indiana primary

Hoosiers are overwhelmingly Googling Donald Trump over Ted Cruz.
Hoosiers are overwhelmingly Googling Donald Trump over Ted Cruz.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Indiana is one of the last remaining battlegrounds in the race for the Republican nomination — and Hoosiers' search data, much like recent polls, suggests a decent chance that Indiana voters could hand the nomination to Trump.

We asked Google to pull search data from Indiana for the week leading up to the primary. It shows that, when it comes to politics, people there are mostly searching for Trump and the issues he likes to talk about most: terrorism and immigration.

Google search, obviously, is not a perfect predictor of electoral outcomes. But it has shown to be one powerful indicator of what primary voters are thinking about as they head to the polls.

And in Indiana, the issues residents want to search for are also the ones that Trump wants to talk about.

ISIS and immigration are Hoosiers' most-searched issues

Immigration reform and the threat of ISIS are two of the most divisive issues of the 2016 presidential campaign, with disagreements not only raging between the two parties but at times between members of the same party. Trump has been especially vocal on the issues, from proposing to erect a 1,000 mile wall along the Mexican border to suggesting that America "take out" the family members of terrorists.

These are also the two issues that Hoosiers have googled the most leading up to Tuesday's primary.

Map of the counties in Indiana and what issues they Googled before the primary Sarah Frostenson/Vox

In Indiana, 4.8 percent of the population is foreign born, and in some cities like South Bend and Terre Haute, population growth from 2000 to 2010 was entirely the result of immigration. The state's changing demographics have led to a local and heated debate over Indiana's own immigration laws.

Earlier this year, the Indiana state Senate formed its own committee on immigration to explore strengthening immigration laws in the state. But the committee has come under fire for relying heavily on controversial figures in the immigration debate, such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who advised Trump on his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border and helped craft the immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama, which are widely regarded as some of the toughest in the country.

Hoosiers are interested in Trump. Really interested.

The latest polls show Trump as the clear frontrunner in the Indiana primary with an average of 42 percent of the vote and a 9.3 point lead over Cruz. He's apparently the candidate that Indiana voters want to search for, too.

Map of the counties in Indiana and which candidates they Googled before the primary Sarah Frostenson/Vox

And while a Trump victory in Indiana would not give the real estate mogul the necessary number of delegates to clinch the nomination, if he is able to secure all 57 delegates (Indiana is a combination of winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district) he'd have 1,049 delegates, which is only 188 shy of the 1,237 needed to reach a simple majority and secure the nomination.

2016 Republican delegate tracker

Meaning if Trump wins Indiana he would only need 40 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination outright. And with only nine states left after Indiana, it should be an easy feat.

In fact, Trump has already declared himself the winner. On Sunday, when asked if winning Indiana would end speculation on whether he would earn the Republican nomination, he said, "Yes, it's over. It's already over."

Looking at the delegate math, it's hard to dispute Trump's assertion.

Could abortion be a surprise issue for voters?

In March, Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a controversial anti-abortion bill that, among other things, prohibits abortions because of genetic anomalies and requires all fetal remains to be cremated or buried, even if they resulted from a miscarriage.

That might help explain why the issue of abortion has had a relatively high search volume, as well as racism and, to a lesser extent, the death penalty.

Map of the counties in Indiana and what social issues they Googled before the primary Sarah Frostenson/Vox

The Indiana law is scheduled to take effect in July, but the American Civil Liberties Union has already filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood to block the new law. And members of the Facebook group Periods for Pence have protested the law by calling Pence's office to talk about their periods.

Hillary Clinton has been a vocal critic of the law and told supporters at a rally on Sunday that "I will defend Planned Parenthood against all these partisan attacks. And I really support the women across this state — Republicans, Democrats, young, old, everybody — standing up against this governor and this legislature and their restrictive legislation."

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