21 August 2008

Joe Biden vs. Wesley Clark vs. Evan Bayh vs. Kathleen Sebelius vs. Tim Kaine

With the announcement of a Democratic vice presidential candidate imminent, I looked at the Google Trends popularity of the most-commonly named possibles.

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of "wesley clark" in all years.
"joe biden" 0.60
"wesley clark" 1.00
"evan bayh" 0.20
"kathleen sebelius" 0
"tim kaine" 0.20

I did not include Hillary Clinton for obvious reasons: she is only named as a not-very-possible surprise choice and her heated primary battle with Barack Obama would totally throw of the comparison. The bottom "No data available" part of the graph just means that Google Trends can't track word compounds in its news sources.

This traditional graph doesn't really say much because Wesley Clark's popularity from when he was running in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries distorts the overall picture. Maybe it makes more sense to gauge the candidates during the last 12 months:

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of "wesley clark" in the last 12 months.
"joe biden" 2.60
"wesley clark" 1.00
"evan bayh" 0.90
"kathleen sebelius" 0.80
"tim kaine" 0.70

Joe Biden is overall in the lead though most candidates have had their moment in the sun: Biden in late 2007-early 2008, Sebelius in about February 2008 and the 3 remaining ones in the last month or two. I could be wrong but those peaks probably are linked with heightened speculation about them being picked for the VP slot at those times, at least for the 4 lower-tier candidates. Biden of course ran in the early primaries. But maybe we are still looking at too long a period? How about the last 30 days:

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of "wesley clark" in the last 30 days.
"joe biden"< 7.00
"wesley clark" 1.00
"evan bayh" 8.50
"kathleen sebelius" 2.50
"tim kaine" 8.50

What has changed? Clark now becomes negligible while Biden has surged the most in recent speculation-induced popularity. Kaine and Bayh both have enjoyed intense speculation at different times but have ended about even with Sebelius. So does this mean Obama will pick Biden? Not necessarily of course... we'll know soon enough.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I thought about doing this as well but never got around to it. Thanks for the info.

    I'm still rooting for Clark :-)