We explained the method used for this experiment, i.e., analyzing "toss-up" states in the US presidential election by comparing Google Insights for Search and Pollster.com graphs, in Part 1. So let's get started right away with Minnesota:
We again obtained contrasting graphs. The Republican Party (RP) was overall more Google-popular than the Democratic Party (DP). In the Pollster.com graph, however, Obama was ahead the whole time. Also, McCain's trend line followed a similar path as the RP's line while the Obama trend line was almost an inversion of the DP line. Hmm... Next is North Carolina:
This was the first state we encountered that had an actual trend line for a third-party candidate, i.e., Barr, because there were enough opinion polls that included him so as to still show up in Pollster.com's high-sensitivity graph. It is often said that he might take votes away from McCain. True, McCain lost his lead at the end of September but Barr's low trend line, if anything, was diminishing somewhat through time. In this state too we found a contrast between the parties' graph and the candidates' graph: The DP was ahead but was bypassed by the RP at the end of August. Let's look at New Hampshire:
The Google-popularity graph suffered from the lack of enough data: did New Hampshirites not surf the web as much as the inhabitants of other states? Maybe they were "politicked out" after their prominent role during the primaries? For what it's worth, the DP was the leader till mid-September when the RP passed them by. The candidates' trend line graph did confirm the overall picture with McCain temporarily overtaking Obama in mid-September. Remember that the Pollster.com graphs give a continuous trend line while the Google Insights graphs show basically monthly averages connected by a line. This explained in a way Obama having already taken back the lead in the end while the RP was still ahead. I give you one more toss-up state today: Nevada.
In this state also the general picture was the same in both graphs. The DP/Obama was ahead for most of the year but by September the RP/McCain was trumping them narrowly. I will post the last part tomorrow.
12 hours ago