Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Obama versus McCain – Can Emotional Identification Influence Voting Decisions? Can Search Trend Tools Predict Tomorrow?

November 3rd, 2008 by

Isn’t it the best time to test the ability of search trend tools to predict reality?


Few hours only before the election starts – the death of Obama’s grandmother brings new hits to the candidates’ related search queries on the web (see also its peak on twitter).


One can’t avoid trying to estimate the contribution of this emotional event on Obama’s potential to win the elections.
While we are certainly having a hard time understanding how voters think – we can agree that such an event can evoke positive reactions toward Obama.
Research insights confirm this statement:

“Emotions, (“interpersonal” emotions as admiration, contempt, envy and pity or sympathy) mirrored voters’ stated preference better than political party affiliation in a study of 70 voters before the 2004 election, suggesting that these emotions are often used as shortcuts when choosing a candidate”

Interestingly, the search for Obama’s grandmother lasted only for a short time – lost its volume (from no.1  to no. 46 – during the time I’ve followed it) in favor of queries on the voting procedure (“Where can I vote” and “voting times” ).

Can an emotional event bring to identification and sympathy and in turn influence the decision making of voters?
And as asked by TechCrunch few months ago: Can Google Trends predict the election?

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