Curious search results appear when Googling District 5 Sacramento Board of Supervisor candidates

While researching a story this morning, we found an interesting Google search result.

To communicate with the District Five Sacramento Board of Supervisors candidates, we searched websites for Pat Hume, Alex Joe, Steve Ly, and Jaclyn Moreno. In addition to emailing the candidates, we wanted to utilize contact forms on their campaign websites. 

For Mr. Joe, we could not find any meaningful results, not even a Facebook page. Aside from mentions in the Elk Grove Citizen and Sacramento Bee, voters would be hard-pressed to find out about his candidacy.

Like we did for Joe, we searched using the candidate's name for supervisor. 

Below is what appeared for Moreno.

For Hume, the search result was slightly different. The top of page results was a paid advertisement for Hume, followed by the organic result which was also his site. 

When searching for Ly, this is where it became interesting. A paid advertisement for Hume was at the top of that page, followed by the organic result showing Ly's page (see below). 

Why would Hume, or some independent committee, pay to have his page show up on a Ly search and not for Moreno? After all, Ly entered the race much later than Hume and Moreno, and his fundraising is lagging. 

Is there some polling showing Ly is more of a threat to Hume than Moreno? Or perhaps the Hume campaign believes it is easier to recruit Republican-inclined voters influenced by negative ads against Ly sponsored by the California Real Estate Association away than from Democratic voters solidly behind Moreno. 

We've spoken with several political insiders, and there is no consensus on why the California Real Estate Association is running the ads against Ly. The best possible explanation was that the negative ads could suppress Ly voters who probably wouldn't vote for Moreno (given Ly and Moreno's history of charges and counter-charges) and thereby make Hume's voter pool larger, pushing him closer to the 50-percent threshold. 

Regardless, the combination of the Hume-Ly paid search results and, more significantly, the negative ads launched against Ly will affect the election outcome.


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D.J. Blutarsky said...

And when I google searched "Open up the whole County for homebuilders", I got "Pat Hume for Supervisor" too!

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