THE BLOG
03/07/2012 02:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Forecasting the US Presidential Election through Sentiment Analysis

Yesterday was Super Tuesday in the United States, which saw the most delegates up for grabs during any single day of the Republican nominating process. With that in mind, Recorded Future introduced its new election monitoring application that uses sentiment analysis to forecast the GOP presidential nominee, and ultimately, will look to predict the general election winner.

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Recorded Future analyzes content from more than 70,000 public sources in real time, and processes hundreds of thousands of pages of text looking for information about the future. In essence, recording what the world knows or believes will happen, structuring and scoring that information, and then making it available for analysis.

In this example application, Recorded Future created a specific score called Win Sentiment to reflect the web's forecast of who will win the Republican nomination. Win Sentiment is based on a number of factors including language used to describe candidates, weighting of sources, and beliefs about each candidates' future. As the tone related to each candidate's chances of winning turns more positive or negative, the predicted winner is updated in real time.

At the moment, Romney leads the way no matter how you slice up the data, but it will be interesting to watch if sentiment expressed during the course of Super Tuesday shifts the predicted winner. Also, note that the favorable shift for Ron Paul when you select "Niche" media versus the mainstream coverage.

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The dashboard can be used in a number of different ways: tracking news flow tagged by source location for candidates in real time, to see whose fortunes are rising and falling in the eyes of the web, and to learn who the web thinks will be the overall nominee. Keep an eye on the site as it will refocus on the general election once the GOP nominee is determined.