Yahoo! Search Tracks the Road to the White House

  • Posted October 30th, 2008 at 12:00 pm by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Fun

Election Day is fast approaching and the presidential race has certainly been interesting. As the race heats up, we’ve been collecting and analyzing some fascinating data about how voters are using search during this election. While searches aren’t votes, they do provide insight into what’s on the collective mind of the electorate. Here are a few highlights: In the past week, Senator Obama has drawn more than twice as many queries as Senator McCain. That’s not necessarily all positive, as the nature of the queries indicate that people still have a lot of questions -lookups range from questions about his biography to his birth certificate, from his grandmother to his gun control platform. Interestingly, last week we saw six times as many queries for Cindy McCain compared to Michelle Obama.

As for who’s doing all the searching, we often run geographical heat maps to track the queries by state. The map below traces the past week’s searches for John McCain in each state in terms of queries per capita. As you can see, Washington, D.C. is intently following his progress, followed by Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and Ohio.


Washington, D.C., Georgia, Florida, Virginia and North Carolina have been scrutinizing Barack Obama most closely.


Since the heat maps compare relative search volume among states for each candidates’ name, they can’t be compared to each other. So, here’s a look at how the candidates stack up against each other in a few key battleground states:

McCain v. Obama_Elections Buzz

Whatever the outcome of the presidential race, perhaps the most encouraging news has been the surge in look-ups for information pertaining to voter registration. Patriotism may come with bureaucracy, but at least search can help with the paperwork.

Remember to exercise your right to vote on November 4th and share your “Road to the White House” search experiences in the comments below.

Vera Chan & Graham Mudd
Yahoo! Search

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