Heller vs. Berkley: TrendPo Rank & Google Trends


By JD Chang

TrendPo Rank is an algorithm that factors in news, social, sentiment, and more to RANK every national politician in one major list.

So what….?

That’s what we’re trying to figure out. Here’s one example of a use case.

Here is Google Trends graph for Dean Heller vs. Shelley Berkley (Nevada Senate Race) over the last 30 days:

You can see that there was more interest in Shelley Berkley the first week of October separate of Dean Heller. (We see this because their search trends are fairly similar outside of this stretch).

Here is the TrendPo Rank graph for the same time frame:

Now, TrendPo Rank is better the HIGHER you are (meaning you want to be #1 instead of #1607 — the current number of politicians we rank) so the fact that Shelley Berkley is LOWER in TrendPo Rank over that period of time when people were SEARCHING for her indicates that there she was making buzz, but perhaps negative buzz. Or moreso, she was being searched for because of negative indicators.

One such example is this article from The Hill where Berkley is discussed in a negative light:

Democrats privately admit Berkley, with her baggage from an ongoing ethics investigation, is not their ideal candidate. Berkley, who is married to a physician who specializes in kidneys, faces a House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she had a conflict of interest in supporting kidney dialysis programs in the state and opposing cuts to Medicare reimbursement for dialysis. But Democrats believe Obama’s coattails, and their superior ground game in the state, could be enough for her to win.

Perhaps Google users searched for Rep. Berkley more during that stretch because of a string of negative press or social indicators. We didn’t find anything particularly different in their sentiment scores, but we’re also trying to figure out all the implications of ranking all politicians to each other.

DEFINITIONS:

Google Trends – Numbers represent search volume relative to the highest point on the chart, which is always 100. Hover over any point to see the search volume at that time.

TrendPo Rank – Each day TrendPo scrapes various sorts of social media, national media, beltway media, and state media to track buzz among national politicians. We run sentiment analysis on the tone of every news article — eg. sentiment analysis against content, not message; and we track gains and losses on every politician’s social pages.

(You can see all of TrendPo Pro’s chart data by subscribing to a free TrendPo Pro user account)

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