Is Donald Trump Increasing the Popularity of the song American Idiot?
The song American Idiot by Green Day is a protest song directed towards President George W. Bush and his administration. Billy Joe Armstrong pleads to his fellow citizens to not give into the media and their war drum and to hold strong against President Bush’s agenda of war, fear politics, and discrimination. America was on the verge of invading Iraq, which would put America into two endless wars that would not only wreak havoc on the people of the Middle East but also cause grieving for the families of American soldiers who would lose their lives in the war.
While the song’s meaning may not apply to the present day, Americans are reinventing the purpose of the song.
Starting on February 1st, the Republican primaries kicked off in Iowa and so did a very interesting trend. Whenever the Republican Primary was about to happen in a state, searches for American Idiot on Google and YouTube went up in most states. However, this rise was dependent on the result of the primary.
Trump has won 29 states, but five of those came after Cruz dropped out so we will not count those for the sake of finding causation. Cruz won 12 states, Rubio and Kasich won one state each. 41 states have voted so far (we aren’t counting the five after Cruz dropped out) and 20 of them have seen increases in search volume for American Idiot by Green Day.
Of the 24 states that Trump won, 15 of them saw increases in the YouTube plays of American Idiot and Google searches for American Idiot in the month of their primary. In 12 of the states that Cruz won, only four saw an increase. Rubio’s Minnesota saw an increase but Kasich’s Ohio did not.
In those 15 states that Trump won and saw increases in search volume for American Idiot by Green Day, 11 of the states Trump won by a blowout (nine percent or more of the vote than the person in second place).
Of the seven nearly tied finishes that Cruz and Trump had, five of those saw increases in search volume. Only two of those states, however, Cruz won.
Are Americans who are annoyed that Trump won their state jamming out to Green Day’s protest song or are those involved in the “Never Trump” movement finding sanctuary in this song? It’s really easy to look at this and chuckle at the idea of Americans calling Trump an idiot and acting like correlation equals causation. However, we know that correlation does not equal causation and with the lack of data available, this could just be a fallacy or an odd coincidence.
American Idiot urges Americans to not do things that will alienate us from the global community and if there is anyone who knows anything about alienating themselves from the global community, it’s Donald Trump.
I am inclined to believe that the song is somehow tied to Cruz and the “Never Trump” movement because after Cruz dropped out, the five states that voted after had zero search volume for American Idiot. Whether or not, the song’s popularity is tied to the Republican Primary and Trump’s boom in popularity is left to the imagination because there is no hard data to completely link the two together.
Interesting footnote — Since April when North Carolina passed their anti-LGBT bathroom law, American Idiot has been extremely popular in the state according to Google’s search volume statistics.