Will Search, Online Sentiment Predict Obama's Reelection?

Obama-RomneyLarry Kim predicts Barack Obama will win the vote for U.S. president "by a landslide" on Nov. 6. The WordStream founder bases his prediction on the amount that Obama and Mitt Romney spent on paid-search advertising for political campaign ads on Google search and the Google Display Network, Web site traffic, and social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Obama spends between $4,400 and $13,100 daily on Google search ads, compared with Romney's budget of between $3,400 and $6,300, estimates Kim -- not to mention display ads for both candidates. He also estimates that Obama remains much stronger than Romney when it comes to all aspects of social media, from Facebook to YouTube to Twitter.

Estimated Web site visitors for Romney reach 2.6 million versus Obama with 8.6 million. Romney racked up 28,579 YouTube subscribers versus Obama's 257,471.  And Twitter followers were 1.6 million versus 21.7 million, respectively.

While there are factors other than how much time and money went into online campaigns -- along with Fans and Followers -- that determine whether Obama or Romney will become the next U.S. president, search experts cannot deny the numbers supporting intent and correlating the relationship and similarities on how advertisers connect the perfect ad with the keyword or click.   

It turns out that Obama holds a 48% to 45% lead over Romney among likely voters, according to Pew Research Center's survey of the presidential campaign. Final estimates of the national popular vote gives Obama 50% and Romney 47% when factoring the undecided vote. A week ago each candidate drew support from 47% of the likely electorate.

Many positive signs point to Obama, according to the Pew research. For example, 39% of the likely voters support Obama strongly, while 9% back him only moderately. A third of likely voters support Romney strongly, compared with 11% who back him moderately.

Kim's and Pew's research are not the only factors. Nate Silver, The Wall Street Journal statistician, describes how it's increasingly difficult to find Romney leading in national surveys, although several suggest a tie with Obama. Overall, Obama remains the favorite in Sunday's national polls, from Google Consumer Surveys to Washington Post and ABC News.

Silver suggests that Hurricane Sandy blew Romney off course and allowed Obama to gain a stronger footing. As of Oct. 28, the WSJ counts Obama owning 307.2 of the electoral votes versus 230.8 for Romney, the numbers updates on Nov. 5. The numbers say Obama has an 86.3% chance of winning the U.S. presidential election versus 13.7% for Romney. The popular vote comes a little closer, with 50.6% and 48.5%, respectively.

Has your company done analysis -- and who do you think will win?

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1 comment about "Will Search, Online Sentiment Predict Obama's Reelection?".
  1. Kevin Lee from Didit , November 5, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
    Lots of great data and valid points made above. Of course, Internet users active on social media tend to skew younger. If indeed social media pressure results in the ability for one candidate to get out the vote tomorrow then that candidate will benefit proportionally to their social media influence. In that case these predictions may indeed hold true. However, one can't forget that a huge segment of the US population, even those with social media accounts are not particularly active or engaged in social media and yet still may be likely voters.