Which search terms correlate with support for which politicians? Why not at least ask this question?
John Kasich. Places that like Kasich are richer in some fairly policy-wonkish search terms: “net cost,” “renewable portfolio standard,” the economist Joseph Stiglitz, Financial Times writer Martin Wolf, and Vox writer Dylan Matthews. These terms have a ring of plausibility. They might be good fodder for small talk…if you are talking with a Kasich supporter!
But then there are terms that I don’t entirely understand: Route 73 and Haven Pizza. Maybe someone can explain those to me. It is also true that with billions of search terms to choose from, occasionally a correlation will arise by chance. These might be false positives.
Ted Cruz. Many Cruz-related search terms are related to domestic life of a certain kind: family photos, felt Christmas stockings, scentsy plug ins, balloon animals, Baby Trend car seats, and DIY cribs. Easy enchiladas are particularly Cruz-y. Mmmm, enchiladas. And udder covers…I wasn’t expecting that one. Maybe the Cruz campaign could start distributing Cruz-themed udder covers!
Donald Trump. Note that the correlations are weaker. That could be because Trump support is broad-based in the Republican Party. Or it could be that the connection between the voter and the Google-searcher is indirect (i.e. they are different individuals who live near one another).
That is from Sam Wang, via the keen-eyed Jordan Schneider. And what about the Democrats?
Near Clinton supporters it’s cheap bedroom furniture, Nicki Minaj fans, and pink hoverboard shoppers. And “career in” – Google auto-complete as a job counselor!
And the strongest correlate with Bernie Sanders support?: “candied nuts,” next in line is “best oatmeal,” ladies and gentlemen that is proof this is not just data mining and false correlations. The list is dominated by recipe terms, and “corn syrup substitute” is number four! Oh where oh where is Martin Wolf?