College Students Used Online Buzz to Predict Every Political Race in the Country Including Obama's Big Win

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A small team of college students used online buzz to predict every federal office race in the country on election night with more than 91 percent accuracy. They also correctly predicted the presidential race with Obama’s big win. This press release was produced by PoliticIt.

PoliticIt correctly predicted Obama would win along with hundreds of other federal races

A team of college students with PoliticIt accurately predicted 91 percent of federal elections

It’s crazy. We were predicting races we knew nothing about with our machine learning algorithm.

A small team of college students used online buzz to predict every federal office race in the country on election night with more than 91 percent accuracy. They also correctly predicted the presidential race with Obama’s win.

These students of the newly founded startup company, PoliticIt, tracked how voters consumed and responded to social media and traditional media in the online world for each of the 477 federal office races along with most of the gubernatorial races Americans voted on.

“It’s crazy. We were predicting races we knew nothing about with our machine learning algorithm. It just blows my mind. It’s like the Moneyball of politics,” Josh Light, recent college grad and CEO of PoliticIt said.

On Monday, November 5, PoliticIt posted “It Scores” to its blog for each congressional, gubernatorial, and senatorial candidate in the United States. According to PoliticIt’s website, the “It Score” measures a politician’s digital influence. ”What we have done is essentially measure how influential each candidate is; over time, we have discovered that a politician’s digital influence is closely correlated with election outcomes,” Sterling Morris, co-founder of PoliticIt and recent college graduate said.

Big data is the new buzz word behind the magic that has made this possible. “In today’s society, everything is moved into the online world. And with powerful computational technology, we’re able to derive how people feel about politicians. That’s just one of the beautiful abilities of big data,” Light said.

Election Day did not mark the end of PoliticIt’s journey. “PoliticIt plans on allowing politicians and political candidates to access their It Scores on a daily basis through our software, PoliticIt Campaign. This software will allow a politician to access a handful of real-time performance metrics including the candidate's It Score. "We believe knowledge of one’s digital influence will help a politician be more effective as a representative,” Morris said.

This software looks to potentially change the dynamics of political campaigns. “Political polls cost a lot. Only rich politicians can afford them. That’s why we are developing software that tracks It Score fluctuations and helps campaigns improve their score and subsequently their probability of winning. Making politics affordable levels the playing field” Light said.

PoliticIt’s predictions for the 2012 elections are available on PoliticIt’s blog at Politicit.com

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Sterling Morris

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