Lookups spiked on January 3, 2012.
As the 2012 presidential election contest officially began, the Iowa caucuses were this week's main news event.
A caucus is "a meeting of members of a political party for the purpose of choosing candidates for an election." The voting is done at small local gatherings; citizens listen to advocates for each candidate and write the name of their pick on a blank piece of paper - a simple and elegant form of democracy.
The word caucus originated in New England - where decisions are often still made in open town meetings - but its specific origin is unknown.
By comparison, a primary is an organized statewide election that uses printed ballots.