Election 2016 summed up in one Google search

GlobalPost
A combination photo shows Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, and Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Miami, Florida, at their respective Super Tuesday primaries campaign events on March 1, 2016.
A combination photo shows Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, and Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Miami, Florida, at their respective Super Tuesday primaries campaign events on March 1.
Scott Audette (L), Javier Galeano (R)

Lots of disaffected Americans are considering moving to Canada — again — following Super Tuesday's primary results.

Google searches for “how to move to Canada” soared as the vote counts rolled in. According to Google, interest in how to move north was high in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee, where both the Republican and Democratic frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton scored victories.

Searches increased 350 percent in four hours, Google Data Editor Simon Rogers tweeted.

Simon Rogers on Twitter

Searches for "how can I move to Canada" on Google have spiked +350% in the past four hours #SuperTuesday

Slight variations of the search term were up by more than 1000 percent at one stage.

Brian Ries on Twitter

@smfrogers @jtuohey21 this shows 1500%? pic.twitter.com/T9ftRHSrsG

On Wednesday afternoon, Google Trends reported that searches for the term were "higher than at any point in Google history."

As Tamara Poire wrote on Facebook under the hashtag #MoveToCanada: "The fear is real." 

Fear of whom? Take your pick.

No matter what your political leanings, there's good news for Americans trying to escape the next presidency: Canadians are pretty friendly folks. And as Election 2016 unfolds, some neighbors up north say they're ready to welcome US immigrants with open arms.

An online tongue-in-cheek tourism campaign called “Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins,” which encourages Americans to visit or move to the island off the coast of Nova Scotia, has reportedly been "overwhelmed" with interest. Despite its slogan, the website claims it doesn’t discriminate: Americans who support Democrats or Republicans are welcome — even Donald Trump himself.

City of Toronto Councilor Norm Kelly also sent a tweet to “all my American followers” with a link to the Canadian immigration website. His message was retweeted more than 36,000 times.

Norm Kelly on Twitter

(We got free healthcare too)

Canadians are obviously having a bit of fun this election cycle as Americans once again threaten to migrate north en masse if things don't go their way. Even Robert Gates, who served as defense secretary under former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, has joked about moving to Canada if Trump wins.

Historical data, however, suggest that Americans' threats to move to Canada after an election are mostly just bluster.

Searches for “how to move to Canada” also spiked in September 2008 and November 2012, both election years, although not quite as high as on Super Tuesday.

 

And election day in 2004 saw a record 179,000 people check out Canada’s immigration website, the Guardian reported. The majority were Americans, it said.

But Canada’s official immigration figures suggest most people don't make the move.

The number of permanent residents from the United States in Canada has been basically stable for the past decade.  

The lowest number, 7,676, was in 2011 and the highest, 10,190, was in 2008, the year Obama won the presidency for the first time.

But you never know — maybe this year will be different. 

A Canadian government website helping people "determine your eligibility" for immigrating to Canada had this message on Tuesday: 

"You may experience delays while using the website. We are working to resolve this issue. Thank you for your patience."

Overloaded by Americans seeking to flee the United States, perhaps?