Monday, February 25, 2008
We're in the midst of a big election season, and of course that means pollsters and pundits have lots to say about where it will all end. I've been curious to see if their predictions match up with trends in online searches. So as my 20% project, I devised a method to track the number of searches for each candidate's name. I wanted to visually represent the trends I found, so I plotted them onto Google Maps to see where the searches were concentrated. It's fascinating to see how people in a region have turned to the Internet to engage in the primaries.
Last Tuesday during the Wisconsin primary, the maps for Democratic queries (blue) and Republican queries (red) in Wisconsin turned out slightly different than each other. The circles are proportional to the amounts of search terms that contained the name of a Democratic or Republican candidate. Of course, the data includes queries for both positive and negative keywords for each.
From the data, we can see that Democratic candidates were searched more often in Madison, while Republican candidate queries were more widely dispersed throughout the state:
We'll continue to study interesting search trends as they apply to election queries and share other findings with you.
Update: Corrected title.