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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

What if Google’s search results were used to determine the outcome of the US election?

Today is one of the most important days for the entire planet, as it is the day when the leader of the United States, for the next 4 years, is decided. Democrats and Republicans have done all they can and will now compete in the poles, each hoping to make their country a better place. In recent months, both parties have invested more than $1.2 billion promoting their vision of America’s future and to what the best way forward.

At AccuraCast, we thought of making a prediction about which candidate will be elected. Getting a result that is as objective as possible, we determined that best way was to check the popularity of each candidate. In order to determine the popularity of each presidential candidate, we turned to the Google Trends application. This application provides us with the key search terms used by Google users and from this, we used the names of each candidate to conduct a search. The data revealed that presidential debates have caused a huge surge in election related searches, as the October debates on the 3rd, 16th and 22nd sparked a huge rise in Obama and Romney traffic.

The first image shows search popularity in the United States and although the results are close, Obama would win by a narrow margin.

Furthermore, we also looked at search engine results on a global scale. This is because America remains the most influential nation in the world and the outcome of the election will affect countries across the globe. If everyone could vote, the prediction would be a greater majority of the Democratic Party over the Republican. So Barack Obama would continue in power for the next four years.

Finnally, we thought to be more specific and gain greater insight, we looked at Google search results in the US using the key search terms 'Obama economic policy' and 'Romney economic policy'. The reason for this is that the future of the US economy is likely to be a deciding factor in the mind of the voter. Similarly with the last two graphs, Obama would renew his mandate in the white house and Romney would be condemned to the political scrapheap. Only time will tell whether or not our predictions are correct.

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