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.