Can Google Predict Election Results?

Google ElectionGoogle announced they’ve searched for clues about the upcoming U.S. election using their internal tools (as well as its “Insights for Search” tool, which compares search volume patterns for different regions and timeframes.) “Looking at the most popular searches on Google News in October, the issues that stand out are the economy,” their official blog reported, adding “we continue to see many searches for terms like unemployment and foreclosures, as well as immigration and health care.”

But one technology reporter also notes almost perfect correspondence between some candidate’s predicted vote totals from FiveThirtyEight and their current search volume on Google, with only a small margin of error for other candidates. “Oddly enough, the race with a clear link between web interest and expected voting is the unusual three-way contest [in Florida], where the breakdown between candidates should if anything be less clear-cut and predictable.”

And Google adds that also they’re seeing national interest in one California proposition — Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana.”