Google Data: Voters May Not Care About Solyndra

Google search data shows few Americans are interested in hearing about Solyndra.

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Through the Recovery Act, the Department of Energy offered a $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra, Inc., to support the construction of a commercial-scale manufacturing plant.

According to Google, Americans are not interested in hearing about Solyndra, the failed solar power company Republicans have repeatedly held up as a symbol of President Barack Obama's failures.

Searches for the company's name were so low that they did not even show up on a graph when compared to other subjects used to criticize Obama, including "obamacare," "obama muslim," "obama jobs" and "obama birth certificate."

Interest in Solyndra proved low both over the four year period of Obama's presidential term, as well as over the last twelve months, Google Insights for Search shows.

The low level of interest doesn't match up to the doggedness with which Republicans have attacked Obama on Solyndra.

In May, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a surprise visit to the shuttered Solyndra headquarters to accuse Obama of "crony capitalism," saying the solar company received federal loans because of its ties to the administration. Last month, Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, decried Solyndra's "gold-plated connections" in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

Hundreds of news stories about the political angle of the company's closing have been published over the last 30 days alone.

Sorting the Google searches for "Solyndra" geographically, it becomes clear that interest in the failed company may be big inside the Beltway, but lagging outside of it. The tiny District of Columbia had more interest in the term over the last 12 months than any state.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at eflock@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.