Who will be the 2012 Republican nominee? (Google Deathmatch vs. CPAC Edition)

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None of them have officially announced their candidacy for President, but we don’t mind speculating a few years early.  Let’s look at some trends to analyze who has the edge as of April 2009.

Methods

Conservative Political Action Conference: Numeral values given here are a percentage of votes cast for a particular candidate.

Google Web: Total number of results for a particular candidate from a Google Web search.

Google News:  Total number of results for a particular candidate from a Google News search isolated to the last month.

Raw Data

raw-data-20121

Conservative Political Action Conference: Who has the elite?

Held in late February, CPAC is a conference where the Republican elite get together and discuss the future of the party.  It is not a good representative sample of the electorate because only the top Republicans attend the conference.  In any case, it it interesting to see who the power players in the party want to represent them in 2012.  The only potential future candidate that isn’t represented in this poll is Jon Huntsman Jr., at least for the time being.  Eric Cantor could attempt a run in 2012, but I think for now he is content to stay in Congress.

In the first strong indication of where conservative hearts lie for the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning the backing…
In the first strong indication of where conservative hearts lie for the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning the backing…
Percentage of Votes from CPAC

Percentage of Votes from CPAC

Winner: Mitt Romney

Google Deathmatches: Who has the history?

But what candidate has the most history and name recognition with the party?  Let’s take a look.  Because Googlefight.com only contains results from the Renaissance, I’ve decided to conduct these searches on my own.  Each candidate’s name is placed in parentheses in order to prevent irrelevant results.

Total hits from Google search

Total hits from Google search

Total hits with Google search

Percentage of total hits from Google search

Winner: Sarah Palin, easily. Ron Paul, unsurprisingly has a strong web presence, but it’s doubtful that that will turn into votes during election time.

Google News Deathmatch: Who has the buzz?

Yes, Palin may have the most history with the party, but which candidate has stayed in the limelight for the last month?  Who do Americans think of right now when they think of the Republican party?  Each candidate’s name is placed in parentheses.  Total results are taken from a one month period.

Total hits from Google search

Total hits from Google News search

Percentage of total hits from Google News search

Percentage of total hits from Google News search

Winner: Sarah Palin, again. However, Mark Sanford and Bobby Jindal are keeping up just fine in the latest news.  Mitt Romney may want to put himself out there a bit more often.

Conclusions: But what does it all mean?

None of these results should be taken too seriously at this point.  Right now, it is difficult for someone like Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich to stay in the news because they have no legislative position at this point.  The Eric Cantor addition should be viewed as a dark horse candidate.   Cantor may be perfectly happy leading the Republicans in the House.

In any case, CPAC should not be taken seriously.  They hated John McCain in 2008 and look where that got him: an early, secured nomination.  Google Deathmatch operates on the premise that a solid history of prominence in the party will help a candidate.  This is a double-edged sword.  Experience in the Republican party may mean a close association with the life and times of George W. Bush.   If Rudy Giuliani had the ability to run in 2003 instead of 2008, we may have seen him in the White House.  But the American public quickly cooled to the idea that a President had to have steel balls with the War on Terror.

Google News will be a great indicator of buzz when the campaign season gets into full gear.  Whoever can maximize their results on a weekly basis will be the next nominee.  Getting the mainstream press on your side is the best way to get into the White House.

Who do you think will square off against Obama in 2012?

Shalom.

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4 Responses to “Who will be the 2012 Republican nominee? (Google Deathmatch vs. CPAC Edition)”

  1. nate Says:

    I think there is an error to this method. For example do a news search on Charlie Crist. You will find 95% local Florida news and 5% national news. So all the Florida buzz will do him no good outside his state.

    If you could filter out local news and get numbers for national exposure it would be a totally different story for all candidates.

    For example I think Palin is way ahead with Romney and Jindal second in the “national” news.

    • Joel Lightly Says:

      Thanks for the insight. I guess I should segregate the two. However, being from a state like Florida will help Crist because there are more delegates there than a state like Alaska. The press will grow for a state as the delegate count grows.

  2. Lisa Says:

    CPAC is not a “Republican elite” event. Most of the attendees are college students.

    • Joel Lightly Says:

      Hmm…usually the attendees are very involved in the Republican party. From activism to fundraising. In any case, it is considered to be the more intellectual portion of the party. You’re not going to see casual Republicans attending CPAC, they are the most dedicated people in the party…which is why you can’t really take their survey too seriously.

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