Monday, January 30, 2012

Google Insights Forecast: Romney Takes Florida with 45% of the Vote (Gingrich 2nd with 24%)

Using Google Insights search index data to track expressed interest in the GOP presidential field in Florida shows Mitt Romney emerging as the solid leader in web search volume among the remaining Republican presidential candidates. As of January 28, Romney was attracting 38% of the daily web search volume in Florida dedicated to the Republican primary field. The candidates' relative web standing since December 1, 2011 is illustrated below.

Extrapolating linear trends in the last seven days of available data forward three days through tomorrow's primary yields these final Google Insights predictions:

Romney: 45%
Gingrich: 24%
Santorum: 19%
Paul: 12%

For comparison's sake, Nate Silver's final 538 poll-based forecast is:

Romney: 45%
Gingrich: 29%
Santorum: 13%
Paul: 11%

Obviously, both predictions indicate a Romney victory of approximately the same magnitude. However, the web search data indicate a somewhat greater decline in support for Gingrich (benefiting Santorum) than the poll data. More importantly (for me), though, the web-search data continue to produce election forecasts that are roughly comparable to polling data, indicating that, in the absence of traditional survey data, web search volumes may be an appropriate proxy for support or other kinds of affective attachment to candidates and other kinds of political objects (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

1 comment:

  1. Using Google insights today, I see Santorum ahead in AZ and MI (way ahead in searches), but he's behind in Nate's polling model. In this case, seems maybe a lot of people are googling Santorum to find Ricky's "Google Problem."

    Also, if you throw Ron Paul in the mix, his searches are always much higher than his actual vote levels.

    Still, a good tool. We'll see how Sticky Ricky does in MI and AZ...