Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shuler vs. Miller Search Terms

I recently came across a reference to Google Trends, a tool that I didn't know existed. Essentially, it calculates the number of people who searched for any given term.

I am wondering if this might hold some promise as an alternative way to understand election forecasting.  Obviously there would be exceptions--if someone were involved in a scandal for example--but I wonder if in normal circumstances, this might give us a clue about public interest in a candidate.  Here's a quick graph of Heath Shuler (in blue) vs. Jeff Miller (in red).  They both got a spike close to the election, but Shuler's is clearly much, much bigger.  This tool might also help us understand when the public gets interested in elections.

Data from the elections are still drifting in and I'm trying to make sense of it all.  Expect some more election wrap-up postings in the next week.

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