Can Compete Predict The Elections?


November 2nd is here. In the state of Massachusetts, where Compete is based, there is a heated race for Governor between the incumbent Democrat, Deval Patrick and his chief rival, former Harvard Pilgrim CEO and Republican, Charlie Baker. These two have been battling it out for months on the campaign trail. As a Massachusetts voter, I wondered if the web traffic data on Compete could give me some clues as to who would win this thing on November 2nd. It would have been smart for their campaigns to have done the same as there are some good insights as to where each candidate stands.

First let’s look at the aggregate data and unique visitors to the site. Here you can see that Baker had a substantial lead during most of the year. Baker is the lesser known of the two candidates and the public would naturally be more curious, but the margins are worth pointing out when you consider that Massachusetts historically almost always favors the Democrat. The Patrick campaign should have known early on that they would have a fight on their hands. Also typical, both parties have surged towards the end with Patrick pulling ahead only very recently. According to this data Patrick would be the predicted winner by a very slight margin.

But I also looked at Compete PRO’s comparison of the referral and destination traffic of these two sites. The top 5 referrals tell me that Patrick’s campaign is winning the Google/search game by a decent margin and that they are making use of video given the referrals from YouTube. Baker’s campaign is getting referrals from the main, local new source Boston.com (The Boston Globe). The destination traffic tells a similar story with Patrick’s visitors landing on YouTube again and Baker sending traffic back to Boston.com. Again my assumption would be more stories being written on the new guy and/or he is making a lot of stops around the area leading to news coverage. I noticed something else in Baker’s referral and destination site data. One of Baker’s top 5 referrals is Wellesley1981.org, the website for one of the alumni classes of Wellesley College. One of the top 5 destinations is mtholyoke.edu, the website for Mount Holyoke College. Both represent women’s liberal arts college in Massachusetts. Hmmm. Not sure what to make of that but I’m going to keep an eye out for who wins the female vote as well as potentially signaling that there may be Massachusetts Democrats out there ready to make the party switch in this election (as was evidenced by the special election for Ted Kennedy’s vacated Senate Seat in early 2009 won by Republican Scott Brown). If I were a part of the Patrick campaign I would target advertising on a few more female-friendly sites and try to rally to my base by doing more appearances. As for Baker’s campaign, they should make use of video maybe even some social media and put some search strategies in place. Not rocket science must some solid insight from just looking at a few of Compete’s tools.

No one can predict exactly what will happen on Election Day in Massachusetts, but I am going to go with what Compete tells me: Patrick by a slight margin.

About Alo Mukerji:
Alo Mukerji is the Managing Director of Product Strategy at Compete. At Compete she is responsible for identifying new product opportunities and long-term product roadmap. Before Alo joined the Compete team she worked at Constant Contact where she helped to expand the product suite beyond email marketing. Alo specializes in new product selection and definition, product management, and product pricing. She can be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/alo-mukerji/0/154/9a7

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