in politics

Search as an election predictor

image from mlkshk.com

Adam Mathes has a series of posts at MLKSHK (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) showing searches from Iowa users for each candidate in the last month as well as the 2008 search results for a similar time period (and search was a good predictor for final results in the Iowa caucus).

Long story short: Adam predicts Ron Paul will win in Iowa but not much after and spoil the election for any other Republican candidate. I don't know if Adam is right or wrong, but it's an interesting approach and I could see it coming true.

  1. Turned out to be a pretty terrible predictor.
    Search is more like information gathering than decision-making, I think.
    It would be interesting to do this analysis on groups of undecideds over time, to see what candidates relative position may change up or down as voters learn more about them.

  2. Yeah, I was going to tell Adam that I think any Google Search listing for Ron Paul is going to be skewed since that’s his own followers slogan for the past several years (“Google Ron Paul!!!”). I felt that search directive was going to unnecessarily influence this type of analysis.

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