The political pundits are deeming today as the 2nd "Super Tuesday". Others are calling today "Hillary's Firewall". It is definitely interesting times we are finding ourselves in, as well as exciting. There's a lot of "what ifs" and "can you imagines" going on with the campaign on the Democratic side of the ticket, so I started wondering about how each candidate is doing "trend" wise in search and the blogosphere. What I found was pretty amazing.
So what if the pundits looked at search trends or blogging trends? What would that tells us that those political polls don't? Well lets take a look.
I decided to start with Google Trends. I put in the terms "Barack Obama", "Hillary Clinton" to get an overall picture of how each were. Pretty interesting stuff over the past year. What's not surprising is that Clinton leads "trend wise" over Obama in New York. What is interesting is the sizable gap between these two when it comes to search.
So now lets look at two of today's states that are in play - Texas and Ohio. How did they fair?
Google Trends for Texas "Barack Obama" vs "Hillary Clinton":
Google Trends for Ohio "Barack Obama" vs "Hillary Clinton":
In both cases, Barack Obama has significant leads trending wise. Some could say its because of the enormous momentum this candidate has coming into these states. A lot of people are curious about him and what his message says. What's really interesting is how this all differs from what the pollsters say, I find it amazing they don't look at this data and comment on it.
I wanted to take one last look at Google Trends at another upcoming state that could be key, to either candidate clinching the nomination, my own state of Pennsylvania.
Google Trends for Pennsylvania "Barack Obama" vs "Hillary Clinton":
Obama, still leads here too, although there does seem to be a bit of a surge for Clinton currently.
So lets move over to the blogosphere, what's going on there? Who are people talking about the most? I took a look at Blogpulse to get a gauge of who's trending in the blogging world. Although Clinton was clearly leading Obama back in September, it wasn't until January that talk of them both shot up, and Obama started trending more highly. In the past few weeks the gap seems to be widening in the blogosphere, which Barack Obama trending higher.
Blogpulse Trends for "Barack Obama" vs "Hillary Clinton":
So how does all of this turn out traffic wise? I decided to check out Alexa for rankings and page views, granted, I know Alexa data can be skewed, but I think in this case it can give you a feel for how things are going, politically, on the internet.
Alexa Traffic Ratings for BarackObama.com vs HillaryClinton.com:
Alexa Page Views for BarackObama.com vs HillaryClinton.com:
I've got my own theories as to why there's such a gap in traffic, and a bigger gap in page views. After reviewing all the candidates websites December through February, Obama's site by far, is much more engaging to the visitor than Clinton's. That stickiness and that engagement creates page views and traffic. I could be wrong, but I would likely bet that the fact he engages his supporters on the web, is likely why there's this gap.
Now you're wondering what else I've likely looked at? Well I looked at Yahoo's Buzz. There I found (on Sunday 3/2/08) Barack Obama ranking higher than Hillary Clinton.
Yahoo Buzz for "Barack Obama" vs "Hillary Clinton"
Finally, I went over to Microsoft's AdCenter Labs to see what I could dig up there. I was rather interested in their demographic data. What I found really surprised me. For all the talk of Hillary holding onto that "woman vote", you wouldn't know that if you looked at who's searching for the candidates.
MSN Adcenter Labs - "Hillary Clinton":
MSN Adcenter Labs - "Barack Obama":
By these demographics, Obama definitely has the lead with the women's vote.
Granted, I totally understand that the online world doesn't necessarily translate into votes in the "Real World", just take a look at what happened with Ron Paul. What I find more fascinating is that the media isn't reporting on this stuff, places like FoxNews, CNN, MSNBC.
If you haven't noticed by now, I'm a political news junkie, I find this stuff fascinating. Being able to combine that with search is even more fun. What would be even more revealing is if the pundits and pollsters are wrong again - and this search and trending data proved to be more true, wouldn't it?
Food for thought for us search marketers. :)