Using Google Trends to Predict the Next President (Final)
Without even researching history on when Google Trends began, you can quickly guess that it began some time in 2004, which is as far back as it can go when giving you trending information on anything.
With this in mind, it means that we can only go back to the 2004 presidential elections to see how good Google Trends is at predicting the next US President.
For this, we will simply use the search volume for predicting who the next president would be.
2004: BUSH vs. KERRY
In 2004, we had Bush versus Kerry.
Bush won with 286 electoral votes (53%) versus Kerry's 251 (47%).
Based on this, Bush is the winner. Kerry only peaked a couple of times, but most of the time, Bush had higher search volume than Kerry for 2004.
Since we have history on our side, Bush was in fact the winner. The search trends were pretty close.
Google Trends search volume matched with actual winner.
2008: OBAMA vs MCCAIN
In 2008, we had Obama vs. McCain. Below is what the search volume was in 2008.
Obama had 365 (68%) versus McCain's 173 (32%).
From the search trends in 2008, Google Trends showed that Obama had a significantly higher search volume. Never did McCain surpass Obama in search volume for 2008!
In November 2008, Obama beat McCain.
2012: OBAMA vs. ROMNEY
Current Google search trends show Obama to be ahead, but the direction of the search volume appear to be in favor of Romney. His is on the increase, while Obama's is basically holding steady.
If I were to make a call right now, Obama would win. Notice how Obama's search volume is consistently higher than Romney's for the current year's graph.
I'm afraid that this is bad news if you are for Romney and good news if you support Obama.
Let's wait two and half more months and see where it takes us.
I'll update this posting in October 2012, and I'll make the prediction using Google Trends at that time.
Make a Prediction
Who will win the 2012 presidential election?
Google Trends Prediction
Just before the election, about a day or two before, I will capture the trends and post it here. After the election, I will do another trend report and see how it comes out.
So check back later to see how accurate Google Trends is in predicting the next US president. If it continues to be as accurate as it has for the last 2 elections, then we will all have a way to predict who our next president is days, weeks, or even months before the election.
Election Day; It's Here!!!
Below you will find election day morning Google Trends for the last 30 days. Based on this, Obama will win by a very very slim margin. We'll find out tonight if Google Trends can predict presidents.
Whether you like it or not, the presidential result is here. Obama earns another 4 years in office. It was definitely a very very tight race. Here are the numbers (source: AP):
- Obama: popular votes=59,674,249 , electoral votes=303
- Romney: popular votes=57,055,308 , electoral votes=206
Well, so far using Google to predict presidential elections is working out. Note that you must use their last name instead of the full name to properly use this technique.