This would be funny if it did not have real-world, and potentially history-making consequences in the hijacking of a nomination process by a B-list reality TV celeb and the coronation of Hillary Clinton that would inevitably ensue as a result. A Nate Silver post last month showed that you can predict a candidate’s standing in the polls just by knowing two numbers: the share of that candidate’s media coverage amongst Republican candidates and the candidate’s favorability rating amongst Republican voters. I did some further work with these numbers and even built a calculator around them to help people better understand the game Trump is playing on the media and us. Here are two more things you need to know: the share of media coverage (to which this useless clickbait story contributes) is twice as influential a factor as whether voters actually like the candidate, and the two numbers explain 99.5 percent of the variation in polling. 99. Point. 5.
The power of intent marketing is nothing new, and today, the persuasive political impact of search results has been quantified through independent research in the field — not just in a lab. With actual voters in an actual election, this study determined that the candidate with superior search results received a 24.5% increase in support from previously undecided voters exposed to those search results. Within certain demographics, these results were even higher, with increases as high as 72.7%.
That’s the conclusion of a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which explored the impact of search engines on election outcomes. If you don’t have time to read anything else, read this: “… search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more.”