Predicting presidential election outcomes has gotten tricky in the digital age because the rising generation of voters doesn’t answer their phones or buy newspapers. Instead, they communicate online.
“It’s hard to do a good poll now,” says marketing professor Wendy W. Moe. She says campaign analysts need to integrate traditional polling methods with new data sources. The problem is cutting through the clutter that fills virtual gathering spots.
“The correlation between unadjusted social media data and well-developed offline market research is almost zero,” Moe says.
Working with UMD journalism professor Sarah Oates, Moe will unveil a solution for the general election season. The scientific instrument will filter social media noise and supplement the work of traditional pollsters.
“We’re looking to see how candidates are communicating with voters, and how voters are perceiving the candidates,” Moe says. /DJ/