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Social Advocacy and Politics: Handicapping the 2016 Presidential Candidates with Facebook

Social Advocacy and Politics: Handicapping the 2016 Presidential Candidates with Facebook

Candidate buzz on social media and in search engines has emerged as an interesting metric for gaging how well the campaigns are doing. Back in 2008, for example, while the last opinion poll in the field predicted that Barack Obama would win the New Hampshire primary, Yahoo Buzz correctly predicted Hillary Clinton would win. Unlike the polls, which were wrapped up by the Sunday before the Tuesday vote, Yahoo was able to measure the number of searches for Clinton up until the polls opened. Even after removing searches for Hillary crying in the diner, which Yahoo assumed included a lot of people who thought Hillary was faking the tears, she had such an uptick in search queries that helped the Buzz Index predict her victory.  Since then, more attention has rightfully focused on the levels of online buzz about candidates as a measure of how well their campaigns are doing.

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