House Speaker Richard Corcoran is one of the most powerful people in Florida.
But despite that, a recent poll showed that only 30 percent of Republican primary voters in the state recognize his name.
Compare that to U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a relatively unaccomplished congressman who has made a name for himself going on cable news and whom Corcoran would face in the gubernatorial race this year.
That same poll showed nearly twice as many people - 56 percent - recognized him.
Could cable news appearances be the difference?
A comparison of Google searches for DeSantis and other outspoken Republican congressmen reveals definite advantages when they go on TV to defend President Donald Trump, attack Special Counsel Robert Mueller or get attention from the president.
Americans search their names at record rates when they make news.
Rooney’s call for a “purge” of the FBI on MSNBC last year, for example, caused a stir - and led to a spike in people interested in him.
Analyzing Google Trends is not perfect. The free service does not produce actual numbers of searches, just how different search terms compare to each other.
But the data can be valuable. The author Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, who calls Google searches “a digital truth serum,” used the data to predict Trump’s rise.
Here’s how some of the top Florida politicians peaked on Google over the last year:
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Palm Coast
Relative weekly Google search traffic compared to congressmen Matt Gaetz and Francis Rooney
(1) DeSantis goes on national TV to talk about being at the scene of the shooting at a GOP softball practice, in which a gunman opened fire and wounded one congressman and several capitol police officers.
(2) DeSantis files legislation to limit the time and scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
(3) Trump endorses DeSantis, tweeting that he would make a “GREAT Governor of Florida.”
(4) DeSantis declares run for governor on Fox News.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach
Relative weekly Google search traffic compared to congressmen DeSantis and Rooney
(5) Gaetz has a raucous town hall, where, under pressure, he says President Donald Trump should release his tax returns.
(6) Gaetz files a resolution calling for the resignation of Robert Mueller.
(7) Gaetz goes on CNN, calling on his Republican colleagues to join him in firing Robert Mueller.
(8) Gaetz defends comments allegedly made by Trump about “shithole” countries, going on MSNBC and saying, “everywhere you look in Haiti, it’s sheet metal and garbage.”
U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Naples
Relative weekly Google search traffic compared to congressmen DeSantis and Gaetz
(9) Rooney is one of a select few lawmakers invited to the White House for dinner. Rooney also goes on MSNBC and CNN criticizing former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before Congress.
(10) Rooney goes on MSNBC and calls for a “purge” of the FBI, then goes on CNN to elaborate.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, DeSantis and Corcoran
Relative weekly Google search traffic in Florida
(1) Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam declares run for governor.
(2) Trump endorses DeSantis, tweeting that he would make a “GREAT Governor of Florida.”
(3) DeSantis declares run for governor on Fox News.
Corcoran appears to peak at the end of last week, after his controversial “sanctuary cities“ ads start playing in the state and after he decides to debate the subject with Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum.
Gov. Rick Scott, DeSantis, Gaetz and Rooney
Despite the efforts of DeSantis, Gaetz and Rooney, their best search traffic last year was obliterated by Gov. Rick Scott during Hurricane Irma, when he seemed to be on national television several times a day for a week.