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This map of where ‘Barbie’ or ‘Oppenheimer’ is more popular has strong 2016 vibes (and Trump is Barbie)



Katherine Huggins


Posted on Jul 24, 2023

An electoral map purporting to show where people are searching more for Barbie or Oppenheimer has captivated Twitter and prompted a slew of satirical political punditry.

“Can I say something without people getting mad,” Twitter user Ryan Letourneau wrote alongside an image of the map, which claims to show which states which movie is trending more in.

The image first appeared on Reddit several days earlier.

“STOP THE COUNT!” commented one person.

The map shows that in five states the two movies are trending equally, while New Mexico and Mississippi are the most polarized (with Oppenheimer and Barbie trending more respectively). The District of Columbia was slightly more pro-Oppenheimer than New Mexico.

“I’m deeply unsure how to interpret these results,” commented another user who noted that the map could reflect people hate-searching. (Several conservative figures have criticized Barbie both for its themes and inclusion of a transgender actor).

Despite the lack of clarity on the implications of people in certain states searching for one film more than other, the map has captivated the internet, with many comparing it to electoral maps.

“Democrats really need to try to appeal more to those Deep South Barbie voters,” joked one person.

Several users also made mock electoral maps based on the Barbie-Oppenheimer breakdown.

And if the presidential election was based on where the two films trend alone, it would be a competitive election with 244 electoral votes for Oppenheimer, 239 for Barbie, and 55 toss-ups.

“Once again, the presidency is gonna come down to the Rust Belt,” one user wrote.

“This is why we should abolish the Electoral College,” joked another user. (For what it’s worth, it’s unclear based on the map alone which movie would win the hypothetical popular vote).

Many competitive elections come down to one thing: turn out.

In that case, Barbie has the clear upper hand. The film grossed $162 million in its first weekend of release, marking the biggest opening weekend of the year and biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman, according to Variety.

Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer brought in $82.4 million in the same period.

On Google Trends, Barbie is currently massively outperforming Oppenheimer.

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*First Published: Jul 24, 2023, 11:34 am CDT