Political participation isn't just about casting your vote; everyone should be able to become an informed participant instantly. When Americans want to learn about candidates and issues using Google, we find that they want more than one source, and immediate results. Instead of sitting through entire television broadcasts, voters are going online to get their daily dose of politics - as they did during the primaries, when searches for political queries spiked.

We created a page on 2008 US election trends that highlights search queries on candidates by location to show how, during this election season, voters across the nation are getting politically engaged online. Use the Candidate Search Queries map to see which cities are searching more for Obama or McCain, and the News by Candidate tool on the trends page to see the latest headlines on each of the presidential contenders.

Our political outreach efforts are aimed at providing citizens with useful knowledge on where candidates, office holders and advocacy groups stand. As more Americans go online and take simple steps to participate in politics, we aspire to promote democracy and informed participation in the process by equipping voters with useful information through search.