Posted February 5, 2008 7:18 am by with 12 comments

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There’s no need to watch today’s Super Tuesday presidential election coverage, we already know who’s going to win: Barack Obama and John McCain.

How do we know this?

Marketing Pilgrim and Collective Intellect have joined forces to release “Election 2008: Using Social Media Measurement as a tool for predicting poll results” a study that looked at sentiment across social media and the search engines. Based upon our findings, we’re confidently predicting a win for Democrat Obama and Republican McCain.

You can download the free report via the Collective Intellect blog. In it, you’ll find full details of how we used blogs and search engine results to make our predictions.

For those of you interested, here’s a quick summary.

Sentiment across social media:

Republicans: Until a precipitous drop-off in the last week of his campaign, Giuliani’s sentiment
stayed at about the same level as Romney and McCain. Huckabee’s sentiment has been wildly erratic – tall peaks and deep valleys matching his varying election results.

Democrats: Over the past few months, not only has Edwards had less blog activity, but his
sentiment has also been consistently lower reflecting not only polling data, but traditional news coverage. Obama and Clinton have traded off on the highest sentiment, but Obama has maintained the lead more often.

Sentiment across search:

Republicans: Of the remaining Republican candidates, the search results appear to mimic the
recent surge in popularity of Senator John McCain. Since June 2007, Senator McCain has increased his overall search engine “approval” rating from 27.5% to 37.5%. At the same time, the number of negative search results for McCain reduced from 10% to 5%.

Democrats: Senator Hillary Clinton gave up 2.5% (50% compared to 52.5%) in positive search results, while Barack Obama gained 2.5% (50% compared to 47.5%). Clinton and Obama are now neck-and-neck in the race for search engine sentiment–both with 50% positive search results.

Raw data for search engine sentiment analysis:

(External link to spreadsheet)

See how the search engine sentiment results compare to our presidential election study back in June 2007.

  • Cool, I just wrote about CNN’s political prediction market here:

    [link removed]

  • HempGuy

    I don’t trust this one bit. It doesn’t even mention Ron Paul here – who is a leader in this race. It’s censorship – they don’t want him to win!

    They do not know who is going to win – that’s ludicrous. They’re trying to tell you who to vote for.

  • @HempGuy – did you read the study? Ron Paul is included in it–although I beg to differ that he “is a leader in the race.”

  • It’s amazing that we can now accurately predict poll outcomes from search patterns etc.. I’m interested in seeing how accurate this prediction is.

  • I’m not sure they don’t want Ron Paul to win. If he’s winning that makes for great news and better headlines. Maybe all of his supporters aren’t voting or able to vote?

  • I’m looking forward to reading the report and comparing your findings to what ends up happening.

    I still think using a web only approach to this kind of prediction is a little dicey. I’m not sure how random a sample it makes yet. For example Hillary Clinton supporters tend to be older, the kind of people less likely to be playing with social media or blogging. I’m not saying that means she’ll beat Obama for the nomination, but looking at things only through the eyes of the web maybe miss the mark a little.

    I think this election will open some people’s eyes to what search and social media can do for a campaign, but we’re still an election or so away from it being a dominant player.

  • Ari


  • It’s just like internet opinion. But it’s wrong.

  • I would have guessed different numbers. Surprising.

  • I’m rooting for Barack, even though his goals are lofty and his speeches may just be a mastery of politician talk. I feel that he has his heart in the right place. Even if Hillary wins, it’s going to be a Democrat in office… which is a much better alternative to GB.

  • Do we know how accurate this tool was? Cool analysis.

  • I still feel that its a race and its never quite over till its over.

    Eva White’s last blog post..Rising Hemlines.. Rising Stocks