Google Search Bias in Key Senate Races Didn’t Carry Over to House Races

October 28th, 2022 2:47 PM

On Tuesday, MRC Free Speech America released a study “Google CAUGHT Manipulating Search, Buries GOP Campaign Sites in 83% of Top Senate Races” that showed Google manipulated data to suppress and censor Republicans in key Senate races at a time when the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance.

A Google spokesperson told Fox News Digital: "This report is designed to mislead, testing uncommon search terms that people rarely use. Anyone who searches for these candidate names on Google can clearly see that their campaign websites rank at the top of results - in fact, all of these candidates currently rank in the top three and often in the first spot in Google Search results." 

MRC Free Speech America applied the exact same methodology from its Senate study to analyze 36 top House races, where polling shows the House does not hang in the balance

Amazingly, somehow Google showed no bias against Republicans in House races. If the search terms used in the Senate study were flawed as Google says, why did they work fine with no indication of bias in the House study?

"This is more evidence that Google deliberately manipulated data for the Senate races,” MRC President and founder Brent Bozell said in a statement. “Google needs to explain itself and stop trying to manipulate elections. A day of reckoning is coming."

MRC Free Speech America’s methodology was not only correct, but when comparing Google’s search results with Bing and DuckDuckGo, Google’s search bias becomes even more clear. 

In the Senate study MRC Free Speech America conducted, Google buried 10 of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites while highlighting their opponents campaign sites in organic search results. But when doing the same search, Bing and DuckDuckGo showed both the Senate Democratic Party candidates’ campaign websites and the Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites in the top five organic search results on page one. 

Meanwhile, MRC Free Speech America found that Google placed Republican campaign websites higher in search results than Democrat campaign websites by a 21-11 margin in House races, while giving four races equal treatment. 

This second study analyzing 36 races based on the “Toss Ups” list from RealClearPolitics yielded small, predictable variance between Republicans and Democrats running for House seats across the search engines of Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo. Bing ranked Republicans more prominently than Democrats by a 17-11 margin while treating eight House races neutrally; and, DuckDuckGo notched a slim 14-13 edge for Republicans, while treating nine races neutrally.

Fox News, on two separate occasions did its own searches and corroborated the results that MRC Free Speech America found regarding Google’s search bias. Fox News co-anchor of America Reports John Roberts said that his team at Fox News “did a little test ourselves,” finding similar results. Fox Business Network correspondent Kelly O’Grady said Fox Business also “dug into the claims” and found “Republican sites are indeed lower.” 

Google apparently does change its algorithm to benefit certain political candidates. But the two studies suggest it’s targeting the Senate.

Google did not respond to MRC Free Speech America’s request for comment on the results of our House study.


For this report, MRC Free Speech America researchers analyzed the Google search results for 36 key House races identified by RealClearPolitics October 19 as House “Toss Up” races. The House “Toss Up Races” included the Democratic Party and Republican Party candidates from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

MRC Free Speech America created an algorithm to automate this process in a clean environment. A “clean environment” allows for organic search to populate results without the influence of prior search history and tracking cookies.

MRC Free Speech America researchers searched each candidate's name with the words “House Race 2022” using the algorithm. To determine bias, our researchers looked at Google’s results and recorded the rank(s) of each candidate’s campaign website.

Example(s): “Yesli Vega House Race 2022” and “Abigail Spanberger House Race 2022.”

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