Category Archives: Politics
Auto-complete for search “Rick Perry ” on Google over the last couple of weeks. The last row is the polling percentage based on Real Clear Politics polls.
|for president||for president||for president||for president||gay|
|for president website||2012||prayer||prayer||prayer|
|2012||for president 2012||2012||galileo||secession|
Auto-complete for search “Rick Perry is ” on google over the last couple of weeks. The last row is the polling percentage based on Real Clear Politics polls.
|an idiot||an idiot||an idiot||an idiot||an idiot|
|a rino||a rino||crazy||crazy||crazy|
|not a conservative||not a conservative||stupid||stupid||evil|
So, I’ve got a lot of blog posts that I meant to publish last week, but I never got around to it. Here is a graph I made using the the auto-complete terms from Google, Yahoo, and Bing for republican presidential candidates. I looked at the five top auto-completes from each site and scored each word 5 points if it was the first auto-complete, 4 points for second auto-complete, etc. I did a search for each candidate twice on each site. First using just the candidates name and a space, then the candidates name followed by the word “is” and then a space. (For example, “Mitt Romney ” and “Mitt Romney is “). I then weighted the search engines based on their market share (about 75%, 15%, and 10% respectively). This gives me a data set with 8 observations (8 candidates) and several dozen variables (one variable for each word). I then used mutli-dimensional scaling to reduce the distances between the vectors down to, in this case, three dimensions. The size of each circle is proportional to the polling percentage from RealClearPolitics on August 29, 2011 (the same day as the auto-completes were done.) The word appearing in or next to each circle, is the word with the highest score for each candidate.
Also, one of Michele Bachmann’s auto-complete terms on Google is “slavery”. I couldn’t imagine what she had done to warrant this as an auto-complete term, but then I found this article by Andrew Gelman (of the blog Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science). Yikes.
Auto-complete for “Rick Perry is” on the three big search sites on 8/29/2011.
|gay||an idiot||an idiot|
|a rino||a scumbag||a crook|
|evil||not a conservative||bad|
|not a conservative||a republican||a scumbag|
|evil||running for president|
|awesome||right about education|
The tables below are for the Google and Yahoo search “Michele Bachmann “(including a space after the last name) for the various dates indicated in the table. Each column has the date of the search and the top five Google or Yahoo auto-complete terms for the search.
Michele Bachmann – Google
|8-17-2011||8-22-2011||8-23-2011||8-29-2011||8-31-2011 – present|
|elvis||corn dog||slavery||slavery||husband gay|
|bio||slavery||husband gay||husband gay||hot|
Michele Bachmann – Yahoo
|hot||hurricane||hurricane||new hair||campaign manager|
|for president||sarasota||irene||margaret thatcher||hurricane irene|
|bio||for president||for president||for president||for president|
What does all this mean? I have no idea, but I suspect it will be difficult to win a Republican party nomination and then a general election with terms like “slavery” and “husband gay” attached to your name.
Another thought: I wonder if the political affiliations of users are constant across the three major search sites or are there a greater percentage of liberals on Bing than on Google, for instance. Could you use auto-complete terms to gain any insight into this? Or is this type of information perhaps already available?
If you don’t want to read this whole thing, just check out the graph: Multidimensional Scaling: Republican Candidates – 8/16/2011
I was having a conversation with some friends today and someone mentioned that Rick Perry might have problems in the election because there were rumors he was gay. So I went to google and typed in “Rick Perry is” and google kindly offered me the following auto-complete options: “gay”, “an idiot”, “a rino“, “evil”, “not a conservative”. This got me thinking how this compared with the other candidates google auto-completes. For instance, if you google “Mitt Romney is” you get suggestions like “a mormon” and ” an idiot” as well as three other suggestions. I did this for all of the major candidates (sorry Thaddeus) and recorded the five google auto-complete suggestions.
Then I created a vector for each candidate based on the google auto-complete words. Each candidate was an observation and each word was a variable. The candidate would get a 5 if the word was first on their list, a 4 if it was second, and so on with a 0 if the word was not mentioned in their auto-complete.
I then used multidimensional scaling (the cmdscale function in R) to allow me to visually display the relative positions of the candidates to each other. This all led to this graphic: Multidimensional Scaling: Republican Candidates – 8/16/2011. The location of the circles is based on multidimensional scaling, the size of the circle is relative to their standings in a national poll taken from fivethirtyeight.com, and the top five google auto-completes are displayed in or near the appropriate circle.
- Every single candidate has the term “an idiot” in either the first or second auto-complete term
- 3 candidates were listed as “hot” (Palin. Bachmann, and Romney)
- “stupid” was only used to describe women
- Perry and Santorum (who has a much bigger google problem that anything I’ve listed here) had “gay” listed in their autocpmpletes and Pawlenty had “definitely not gay”
- Bachman and Palins circles are nearly identical in size (11.7% ad 11.4%, respectively) and words (they share “an idiot”, “hot”, and “stupid”)
- “a douchebag” appears in auto-completes for Santorum, Gingrich, and Pawlenty. I imagine it will be hard to win with this word attached to your name. (John Kerry couldn’t do it.)
- The only overwhelmingly positive google auto-complete was for Herman Cain whose fifth auto-complete option was “awesome”
It’s that magical time of year again. The three weeks the rest of the country and I care about college basketball. Check out the StatsInTheWild NCAA basketball top 25.
So here it is. The StatsInTheWild annual NCAA tournament preview.
Teams that should have gotten in but didn’t:
Seton hall – I realize it’s hard to take a team that went 9-9 in their conference, but it’s the big east. it really is that good.
Virginia Tech – They should have been in easy. Although 2 losses to lowly Miami, including once in the ACC tournament is really bad.
Mississippi State – A good regular season and a very good run in the SEC tournament. Should have been in.
Teams that should not have gotten in:
Minnesota – They lost to Michigan twice in February and they lost to Indiana who was 4-12 in the conference. And they were only 9-9 in the conference. The big 10 is the most over rated conference in football and basketball.
UNLV – Third in the Moutain West gets in but third in the ACC doesn’t? This was a bad at large bid.
Wake Forest – They finished 6th in the ACC at 9-7 in conference. How did Virgina Tech not get in again?
Georgia Tech – They finished 7th in the ACC at 7-9 in conference. How did Virgina Tech not get in again?
Best 16 seed: Lehigh
Best 15 seed: UC-Santa Barbara
Best 14 seed: Sam Houston State
Worst 1 seed: Duke
Worst 2 seed: Ohio State
Worst 3 seed: Pittsburgh
Worst 4 seed: Wisconsin
Most likely first round upsets:
(14) Sam Houston State over (3) Baylor
(12) New Mexico State over (5) Michigan State
(13) Wofford over (4) Wisconsin
(11 )Old Dominion over (6) Notre Dame
Most likely long shot upset:
(15) UC-Santa Barbara over (2) Ohio State
Lower seed lock:
(10)Missouri over (7) Clemson
(9) Northern Iowa over (8) UNLV
All the one’s, two’s, and three’s along with (4) Maryland, (4) Butler, (5) Texas A and M, and (5) Temple.
All the number one seeds and all of the number 2 seeds except Ohio State. Georgetown gets in.
So that’s (1) Kentucky, (1) Duke, (1) Syracuse, (1) Kansas, (2) Kansas St, (2) Villanova, (2) West Virginia, and (3) Georgetown.
(1) Kansas, (1) Kentucky, (1) Syracuse, (2) Villanova
(1) Kansas vs (1) Kentucky
(1) Kansas over (1) Kentucky 68-66
This is from a while ago (Nov 18, 2008), but it’s still interesting:
“Zogby Engages in Apparent Push Polling for Right-Wing Website”