Google Data: D.C., America More Interested in Gun Control, Less in Immigration Reform

Internet searches for “gun control” spike, while searches for “immigration reform” fall.

 President Barack Obama speaks to reporters after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts at the White House in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013.

Two of President Obama's biggest priorities for his second term are garnering very different levels of interest from Americans searching the internet. According to Google, Americans are far more interested in gun control than they are in immigration reform.

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Google Trends shows more searches for "gun control" now than at any time over the last decade, with interest in the topic remaining low from 2004 to 2012 but spiking in the wake of the Newtown shooting.

Interest in immigration reform, meanwhile, has remained relatively constant over time, and is actually lower now than it was at several points over the last decade, in 2006 and 2007. Over the past year, searches for the term have only gone up slightly, despite building support in Washington for landmark immigration reform legislation.

The same trajectory of interest can be seen for both terms when broken down by state, including Washington D.C., where searches for gun control are currently nearly five times the level of searches for immigration reform.

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Those involved in the immigration fight seem aware of the disparity in interest. Politico reported in January that immigration advocates were "beginning to worry that their fight could slip behind a cause that wasn't even an issue during the election: gun control."

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at