Who searches Google? Is the question
to ask when we think about the all-important undecided voter, in this US
Presidential election. According to Business Insider quoting a
study, by Politico and George Washington University, the undecided voter is estimated
to be a single Protestant white young women 18-29 years old without a college
degree who is weighing between being a soft democrat and also a Tea Party
empathizer. Undecided voters vote across parties for different positions on the ballot.
They do not watch debates but might be overhearing what friends are saying.
Given the characterization in this poll, it does seem likely that the undecided
voter will Google stuff closer to the election as things get even more
confusing. In other words, the undecided voter is not really dis-engaged as
made out in the funny Saturday Night Live piece.
Had the undecided voter not cared at all about the election then:
- They would not go to vote, because they cared so little
- And would not use the central route to persuasion
that is sort of implied if you Google something
In other words, expect the undecided
voter to turn to Google as the election draws nearer.
On the theme of Google Searches and
elections there is an interesting piece by Seth Stephens Davidovitz in the New York Times. From
reading the summary of his research it makes sense to believe that "decided"
or rather "base" voters merely check out the failings of the
opposition on Google at least going by the location of the searcher in red or
blue states. But could it be that some of
these searches of controversy around candidates are really coming from the
undecided voter? Also it would be interesting to know how many of the folks
looking for polling information actually go out and vote.
Left out among Google searchers are one in five US adults who
do not use the Internet but are voters. The majority of non-users are older and
poorer Americans and those with less than $20,000/year income
not using the Internet at all.This number is declining though.
Since the undecided voter in the Business Insider story is very likely an Internet user, we can expect her to do at least some searches on line
about candidates, polling places and make a decision. All in all the Internet
and Google Search should play an important role with the undecided voter. Contact StratoServe.