Update: Forecasting the US Presidential Election

Posted: 8th May 2012
Update: Forecasting the US Presidential Election

Several months ago, we introduced the Recorded Future “Race for the White House” election monitoring app that uses sentiment analysis to forecast the winner of the 2012 United States presidential election. We’ve since shifted attention away from predicting the GOP nominee, which is now a formality away, to examining the general election between incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney including the media share and Win Sentiment for each candidate over the last month.

As a reminder about what exactly the application shows:

  • Recorded Future analyzes content from more than 150,000 public sources in real time from the web;

  • we created a custom score called Win Sentiment based on a number of factors including the language used to describe each candidate, weight of the reporting sources, and beliefs about each candidates’ future to reflect the web’s feeling about who will win the presidential nomination;

  • we chart the comparative win sentiment and media share for the candidates over time and reflect which candidate is on top based on the last twenty four hours of media.

At the time of writing, you can see that during the last month the Win Sentiment for Mitt Romney has cratered and then risen sharply on multiple occasions while the media’s reflection of Obama has remained comparatively steady. It will be interesting to revisit this as the Obama campaign really kicks into gear and the effects of Rick Santorum’s recent endorsement of Romney start to take hold.