Google searches used to predict November election
DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver tech company claims it can predict the November election outcome without talking to a single person.
Instead, UnumAI relies on Google searches.
“Google searches should reflect a candidate’s entire lifetime effort, overall high profile, and how voters perceive them,” said Sklyar White, CEO of UnumAI.
White’s method draws on publicly available data on trends.google.com to capture the political winds of each statewide race in America, “But there’s nothing personally identifiable . It’s just a way to understand how people, not just anyone, behave.
White is quick to point out that he can’t tie searches to individuals who can be identified, so he’s not spying on specific people, but he can tell which candidates are generating the most interest online.
Generally speaking, White said the more Google searches for a political candidate, the better that candidate is likely to do.
“There’s a confirmation bias in how people search for them,” White said, before adding, “Google searches measure timeliness, they measure brand awareness, and they measure user enthusiasm. voters.”
UnumAI shared its polling data with race problem solvers statewide in Colorado, and as of Sept. 1, it’s good news for Democrats.
In the race for the US Senate, he has incumbent Michael Bennet (D) ahead of businessman Joe O’Dea (R) 57% to 43%.
In the race for governor, incumbent Jared Polis (R) leads CU Regent Heidi Ganahl 55% to 45%.
The UnumAI method finds a tighter race for attorney general with incumbent Phil Weiser (D) leading 18th Judicial District Attorney John Keller (R) 53% to 46%.
“In the 2020 election cycle, we predicted every U.S. Senate race nationwide that had polls twice as accurate. We were within a percentage point of each candidate,” White said.
White said too many pollsters missed Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential victory because he said Republicans were underrepresented in traditional polls and were often less willing to be honest about who they were. trust.
Online, White said people reveal their true preferences.
“It’s much more accessible and socially acceptable to do research online than telling someone you don’t know calling you asking if you believe in conspiracies,” White said.
David Flaherty is the CEO of Magellan Strategies, a traditional polling company that relies heavily on text messages, calls and interviews with registered voters.
“We have tried and tested methods. This (Google searches) is a new method. We’ll see how that holds up,” Flaherty said before adding, “Typically, a researcher would interview voters using a list or database of registered voters. Google Analytics doesn’t necessarily have all of Colorado’s 4.1 million registered voters in its database.
Flaherty said the Google method makes him concerned because he has no way of knowing whether people who search for political candidates on Google are registered voters.
“It’s kind of a step down from the comfort level for our business. However, we are not going to reject anything,” Flaherty said.
Like all polls, Flaherty said unumAI would be judged on its results.
“We’ll see how well they predict the election outcome on November 9,” Flaherty said.
White told FOX31 that if his Google search method had been the polling standard used in 2020 nationwide, people would have understood a blue wave wasn’t coming and in fact, Republicans nationwide nationwide did better than many polls predicted.
While it’s true that Google searches can’t tell unumAI if someone is a registered voter, he said Google’s political candidates are people who care about politics, which means they’re almost always registered voters and that the data set for Google searches is so massive that it is confident it is sweeping a representative sample of registered voters.
UnumAI is still refining its process and admits it’s less accurate for smaller Congressional races, so it’s not using it for US House races this year, only for statewide races.
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