Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016

by Jay Bhatti
American Reporter Correspondent
New York, N.Y.
March 4, 2008
Campaign 2008

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NEW YORK, March 4, 2008, 7:00PM ET -- With the outcomes of the Texas, Vermont, Ohio and Rhode Island primaries to be decided tonight, how possible is it that online searching can predict who will win tonight's primaries?

The most popular type of search on the Internet is "People" search, and our company, Spock.com, is emerging as the leading people search engine because it does what Google doesn't - aggregate data on people in a smart, sophisticated, and most importantly - a user- friendly way.

Nearly anyone who's tried to search for someone with Google can confess that they'll give up after scrolling to the second page, frustrated by the volume and inaccuracy of the results. With a third of all online searches currently people-related, Spock.com successfully fills a space in the online search marketplace that Google can't match.

Spock indexes millions of people every day. It puts in the user's hands the power to control the accuracy of their personal details online, and it has a very powerful search tool that aggregates databases, search engines and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and others.

For example, a few weeks ago we compiled our Road to The Oscars report - where we ranked the most popularly searched-for Oscar nominees on the Web. A few days later Moviefone.com, an AOL subsidiary and major online destination for entertainment related information and tickets, released an online Oscar poll.

We found that there were correlations between our most popular nominees and the Oscar choices of the 500,000-plus people completing polls: - Johnny Depp and Allen Page were two of the most popularly searched-for nominees, and also the People's Choice for Academy Award winners. Unfortunately they didn't take Oscar home - that was decided by the thousand of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Nonetheless, this inspired our next report: to see how online search was reflective of political opinions surrounding the elections - particularly today's primaries. By drilling search choices down to IP addresses, we were able to see who the most popularly searched-for politicians were in Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas.

We consequently found some interesting statistics and made some bold predictions:

  • Barack will be the victor in Ohio and Vermont given the higher search volume for him in these two states;
  • Hillary will win Rhode Island, having an edge with a higher search volume in the state, despite Barack spending three times more on his RI campaign; and
  • Hillary is going to win in Texas - she has a higher search volume even right now - and has strong influence over the voting Hispanic population in the state. However, with a 15% increase in Obama supporters in the past month(based on "tagging" the words "Obama supporter" or a combination with their Spock profiles), this could change.

Take a look back to the New Hampshire primary, when Hillary's search volume increased 2.5 times prior to her win. And after her victory, Barack's search volume dropped significantly as more people believed Hillary to have taken the upper hand in the race.

With Barack's extensive advertising campaign, he has successfully increased his search volume, and ever since he won his first primary, his overall search volume has been higher than Hillary's.

Later this evening, we will see how true these online search results hold to general opinion - and we are pretty confident of the results.

Editor's Note: While the prediction of the outcome of the Ohio race turned out wrong, the other predictions were correct. Three out of four ain't bad!

Jay Bhatti is co-counder of Spock.com, based in New York City. The predictions were mailed to AR at 7PM ET, as the Vermont polls closed; Obama was instantly declared the winner by CNN.

Copyright 2016 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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