1. #1

    Google Trends is 3-0 in white house elections...and other fun stuff

    Google Trends is 3-0 in picking white house elections...and other interesting uses of Google Trends

    Google Trends is 3-0 in calling presidential elections

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...20kerry&cmpt=q

    Simple idea.

    1. Search from 2004-present for the candidates last names: bush, kerry, obama, mccain, and romney.
    2. The winner got more searches than the loser.

    In fact, the loser never was a more popular search search term at any point in the general election.

    Another interesting point is that 2004 and 2012 were close elections. Neither Bush nor Obama came out of that election with a mandate to govern. And when you look at the searches for those two elections, the candidates were relatively close. 2008 was a blowout Obama win, and the searches for him were WAY beyond anything McCain got, and Obama circa 2008 was WAY above anything Obama circa 2012 or Bush got. So perhaps the degree of separation clues us in on the margin of victory.

    Let's try it with the words "republicans" and "democrats"
    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...blicans&cmpt=q

    This one is a bit more tricky. First, we have to define the election results.

    2004: republican narrow win - republicans reclaim senate
    2006: democrat blowout win - democrats take both houses of congress
    2008: democrat blowout win - democrats take white house
    2010: republican blowout win - republicans erase 2006 blowout and take the house
    2012: tie - gridlock - no changes

    2012 I would consider a draw, since Obama won a very narrow victory, the republicans continue to hold the House, and it was the first time nothing changed hands since 1998. Of course democrats will try to spin the election as a crushing victory for the democrats, but that's not what occurred when comparing the results to everything else.

    If we look at the two years the democrats had clear blowout wins, they also happen to be the two years the searches for "democrat" essentially doubled searches for "republican". In the other 3 elections, searches for "republican" either closed that gap or led outright.

    Other interesting aspects of this election:

    1. There is a CLEAR line of demarcation at the elections in November of 2010. Before that event, searches for "democrat" led. After that event, searches for "republican" led. Even with Obama scoring a narrow victory in 2012, this held true. Perhaps this is due to the gridlock nature of the 2012 election.

    2. Searches for "democrat" and "republican" have trending DOWN from 2004-present. There were significantly more searches during the 2004 elections than at the 2006 elections. There were more in 2006 than 2008. There were more in 2008 than 2010. And it looks like the 2012 peak was smaller than 2010.

    ###############################

    How about the economy?

    I was thinking of ways people would express their satisfaction level with the economy. One I came up with was searches for "coupon" and "sale".

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...%20sale&cmpt=q

    There is a clear line of demarcation for the term "sale" at the 2008 credit crisis. Prior to that event, searches were falling for years. After that event, searches began an uptrend. The most recent peak was July 2012. This may be evidence that the personal economy for many people is in fact continuing to deteriorate, as unemployment falls mostly because the statistics keepers consider people as "dropping out of the workforce".

    Searches for the term "coupon" were on a very slight rise, or almost flat, prior to the 2008 credit crisis. After that event, it clearly started marching higher, with the most recent peak at December 2011.

    Another interesting search pairing I found was "saving" vs "unemployment".

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...loyment&cmpt=q

    The term "saving" was performing well until unemployment soared in the months after the 2008 credit crisis. After unemployment skyrocketed, searches for "saving" have fallen off. A search score of 22 for December 2012 is the lowest its ever been on this chart. Searches for "unemployment" have come down from its highs, but are still very elevated compared to pre-2008 credit crisis levels, and are in fact RISING.

    "money" vs "unemployment"

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...loyment&cmpt=q

    Searches for "money" were rising for years, peak at the 2008 Credit Crisis, and have been declining since. December 2012 is a new low for that term. Perhaps a sign that the economy turns around will be when interest increases in searching for "money" again.

    "marriage" vs "divorce"

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...arriage&cmpt=q

    This is really interesting. Searches for "divorce" seem at a constant level. But searches for "marriage" were dropping for years prior to unemployment taking off. Once unemployment rose dramatically, searches for "marriage" also began to climb. Perhaps this means when people know the economy is bad, they look for stability in their love life moreso than when the economy is good.

    ###############################

    Sports:

    I did a search for NFL, MLB, NBA, and MLS (major league soccer)

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...C%20mls&cmpt=q

    1. The NFL and NBA are both clearly growing and are essentially tied in searches.
    2. MLB is growing, but VERY slightly.
    3. MLS is declining.

    ################################

    Other:

    "future" vs "past"

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...%20past&cmpt=q

    Both seem stable. Searches for "future" peak at the end/start of a calendar year. I suppose people prefer to think ahead to what's coming in that moment. Searches for "past" reliably peak in a very odd place - May. After thinking about it, perhaps that is due to the end of the school year being in May. That's students thinking back to the grade they just completed.

    "robot" vs "drone"

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore...20drone&cmpt=q

    Searches for "drone" are steadily climbing. Searches for "robot" seem listless.

  2. #2
    2012 I would consider a draw, since Obama won a very narrow victory, the republicans continue to hold the House, and it was the first time nothing changed hands since 1998. Of course democrats will try to spin the election as a crushing victory for the democrats, but that's not what occurred when comparing the results to everything else.
    Obama got nearly 100 EC votes more than Romney and "won" the popular vote by almost 5 percentage points. That is not a "tie" by any stretch of the imagination.
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  3. #3
    While there are some glaring flaws in your post. This is a very interesting catch.

    I think that Google Trends can be used as an effective indicator of trends, but it cannot be relied upon to 'predict'. When combined with other tools it can likely assist in determining major events.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post

    2012 I would consider a draw, since Obama won a very narrow victory, the republicans continue to hold the House, and it was the first time nothing changed hands since 1998. Of course democrats will try to spin the election as a crushing victory for the democrats, but that's not what occurred when comparing the results to everything else.

    I don't subscribe to partisan politics, but I would say that only a republican would spin the election as anything other than a clear victory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...College_margin

    This isn't up to your opining. If in 2008 a "democratic blowout win" then 2012 is moreso when you normalize the margin of victory.

    The search results portion is interesting, but you're no statistician so you should just leave it at "hey guyz it's kewl that searchez on google = who winz prez huh?"

  5. #5
    I am Murloc! Peaky Blinder's Avatar
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    Obama won fair and square just get over it

    If you think your electoral process is flawed then do something about it

    bottom line is obama won by over 5 million votes and won the electoral college easily only losing 2 states that narrowly went obama in 2008

    Just accept it and stop grasping at straws nobody gives a shit if there was any shenanigans the CIA and the republicans wouldbe been all over it just like the whole birth certificate fiasco

    If bald headed cunts like trump and billionaires cant find any dirt on him then you have to accept that hes just a straight guy who believes in shit that you dont

    If you wanna hate obama cause of his policies thats fine thats good and something i agree with but if you wanna dig up stupid fucking conspiracy theories like some fucking crack pot then you deserve to be ignored like the whino down the street!
    Last edited by Peaky Blinder; 2012-12-26 at 03:20 PM.

  6. #6
    The election was for congress as well as the presidency. I think you some people here need to get over it. The truth is:

    1. Obama became only the 5th president in history to win re-election by a smaller share of the popular vote than when he won his first term.
    2. Obama became only the 2nd president to win re-election with a smaller Electoral college total than when he won his first term.
    3. Republicans maintained their control of the House, but lost 8 seats.

    The map shrunk on Obama. The map shrunk on the GOP House. This is what a tie looks like. In many states, Obama won by smaller majorities. As much as people say Bush was a poor president, even HE expanded the map and won by a bigger margin in 2004 than in 2000. And not even Bush had a mandate to govern. Bush's re-election was slightly more impressive, and yet no-one said he stomped Kerry. Bush won in 2004 with 50.7% of the vote. Obama won in 2012 with 51% of the vote. You can't look at either one and see a mandate anywhere.

    Obama enters a second-term as a very weak president, with zero mandate to govern. That's just the truth from what occurred on election day. And its silly to point to the electoral college, anyway. The democrats want to get rid of the electoral college.

    The way to look at 2012 is to see that both sides held their ground, but everyone won by smaller margins. Obama won by a smaller margin. The GOP House won by a smaller margin.

    We spent $6 billion on the 2012 election and it changed nothing but made everyone in office weaker.
    Last edited by Grummgug; 2012-12-27 at 01:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Kasierith's Avatar
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    Three is a rather horrible sample size for "predicting" elections, not to mention that the candidate with more people interested generally has more people voting for him. I don't really see anything interesting or spectacular about this.

    So what point are you trying to make exactly?

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-27 at 02:58 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post

    Obama enters a second-term as a very weak president, with zero mandate to govern. That's just the truth from what occurred on election day. And its silly to point to the electoral college, anyway. The democrats want to get rid of the electoral college. .
    He has zero mandate to govern? What exactly are you talking about with this?
    “…the whole trouble lies here. In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”
    XKCD is always relevant. Always.

  8. #8
    Immortal Sigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grummgug View Post
    The map shrunk on Obama. The map shrunk on the GOP House. This is what a tie looks like.
    Had it have been a tie, then there would have been recounts, upon recounts to ensure they got the right person.
    When it comes down to it, it doesn't matter if he won by one million votes, or one vote. he was declared the winner.

    Really want to make a "This is what a tie looks like" picture, but wont

  9. #9
    <blink>

    so let me make sure I understand your point here with regard to the election - you claim it was a tie based on how the maps moved. That's a very political science focused viewpoint, and seems to disregard the results of the election, which were pretty much a Democrat wash.

    Here are the actual results: the Democrats took the White House, we know that much. They also took two seats in the Senate and eight in the House. I don't know what world you live in where these results are a tie or are basically a wash. That is a resounding victory by any measure.

    Any argument about the electoral college as illegitimate is a waste of time where it concerns the 2012 election. If you want it gone, show me that it doesn't represent the will of the people.

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