Americans are unusually engaged in this year’s midterm elections. So much so that two Texas candidates for senate are trending higher in Google search volume than bitcoin, the ultra-hyped stateless cryptocurrency, and pop music megastar Beyoncé.Democrat Beto O’Rourke and Republican incumbent Ted Cruz jumped ahead of Queen Bey, the Houston native also known as Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, nationwide in recent days. Voter interest has been staggering: Some 38 million cast their ballots before election day—today, Nov. 6—well ahead of the 27 million people who voted early in 2014, according to data compiled by Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor.
Democrats are hoping to put a chill on president Donald Trump’s agenda, while the commander-in-chief has energized Republicans with a series of raucous rallies. The ballot-box enthusiasm could create static for pre-election polling that didn’t account for higher than expected voter turnout, according to Politico. Early voting in Texas has been more than double that of 2014.
As evidenced by Google searches, O’Rourke’s insurgent campaign to unseat Cruz in the Republican stronghold of Texas, among the most closely watched races in the country, has a slight lead in terms of nationwide search volume. The campaigns have raised more than $100 million, with some two-thirds of it going to O’Rourke, the El Paso Democrat who often just goes by Beto.
But in the Lone Star State, where it probably matters most, Cruz has the edge in Google search volume, beating not only bitcoin and Beyoncé but also Justin Bieber (who reportedly got a face tattoo recently). This roughly mirrors polls that show Cruz is likely to win. Politics site FiveThirtyEight says Cruz has a 7 in 9 chance of prevailing in today’s election.
In that case, becoming a senator for Texas could be the best thing Beto never had.