Digital Impact from #SCPrimary – Google Trends as Key Indicator of Outcomes

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There are three areas that I am watching during this Presidential election process that I think is worth watching:

Google Trends
Facebook Signal
FiveThirtyEight.com

These three areas have lots of fascinating real time data that has proven to showcase lots of predictive data, wrapped together within interesting visualizations. Data is sometimes hard to dissect and contextualize, but each of these three outlets do a wonderful job of pulling information together in some contextual meaning.

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This past Saturday, voting took place for the Republican candidates in the South Carolina Primary. As I was watching Google Trends, you could see the breakout of percentages in Google search for each candidate.

As you see above, here are the percentages of search leading up to voting:

– Donald Trump 34%
– Ted Cruz 20%
– Marco Rubio 18%
– John Kasich 10%
– Jeb Bush 9%
– Ben Carson 9%

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Once all the votes were cast and counted, here is a break out of the final results based on percentages:

– Donald Trump 32.5%
– Marco Rubio 22.48%
– Ted Cruz 22.34%
– Jeb Bush 7.84%
– John Kasich 7.62%
– Ben Carson 7.23%

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You can see the percentages from the amount South Carolinians searched about each candidate closely resembled the final voting percentages.

Another interesting indicator of voting were the top five topics searched based on the Republican Primary Election. You can see the colors as they related the the topic area, and level each county experienced in Google search. You will see each county has a color, and that color indicates the most important topic based on the number of searches on Google for that topic.

– Economy
– Foreign Policy
– Isis
– Immigration
– Obamacare

Based on this color map, as I would consider it a heat map, you can see the level of importance, based solely on the count of counties representing the issues that were searched the most. Now, we are not considering population breakdowns based on these counts, but this gives you a visual indicator of interest.

– Economy 19
– Obamacare 10
– Immigration 9
– Isis 7 (Beaufort and Charleston Counties represent multiple areas on the coast)
– Foreign Policy 1

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