Google is moving into the political scene. They’ve launched a Google+ Page to focus on politics and elections, they’re blogging about election issues, posting the candidate’s videos, and they put together a trend center which allows you to track all sorts of data.
You’d think they are wanting to influence and “lobby” congress, but Google’s PAC is not raising a lot of money, especially compared to their rivals Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter. After the influence they exerted against SOPA and PIPA it appears Google might not have to lobby congress the traditional way. Google has a direct and strong connection with its users and exerted their power and influence to stop SOPA and PIPA.
Google is looking to prove Google’s worth and value to the political community. Some estimates have it that Obama alone will have $1 Billion dollars to spend and Google wants to position themselves to earn a chunk of that cash.
Google is making their case that if campaigns are not spending money with them, then their campaign will get left behind. Big political campaigns will have a fair amount of cash on hand yet that cash is held with a tight grip. Google is making their case to earn a bigger portion of the tight budget.
Recently Google hired a outside polling company to find out how many people were interacting with politics online (using data to prove their case). Ultimately the polling firm concluded that, “Our findings in South Carolina reaffirm that campaigns which do not fully embrace the Internet as a means to engage voters -- for fundraising, persuasion, and turnout -- do so at their own peril.” While Google is making its case for more money they’ve also tried to “predict” the outcomes of the Republican Primaries.
Google has massive amounts of data and the ability to chart trends of search volume. Initially Google thought they could “predict” the results of the Republican primary elections. But after an unconventional primary season and some surprising results Google has learned that it is a lot harder to predict human voting behavior than they ever imagined.
Google has changed their stance from predicting the primaries to reporting after the fact. For example they’ve published reports predicting the election results of South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, but not of Arizona, Michigan, and Florida.
Will Mitt Win?
Mitt Romney won Arizona and Michigan, and Washington votes this Saturday. He’s up in the delegate count and President Obama’s campaign continues to attack him. These are indications that Mitt will win the Republican nomination and maybe the global search trends will prove accurate, because Mitt Romney has the most search volume in the world, at least out of the other republican contenders.
- Regional Search Trends http://www.google.com/elections/ed/us/trends
- Global Search Trends https://plus.google.com/114401727024677849167/posts/RtNT8doEjV1
- Twitter Mentions http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mention-machine
- YouTube Videos http://www.youtube.com/politics
- Ad Spending http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/track-presidential-campaign-ads-2012/