Throughout the day, voters will be polled as they exit their voting stations. But how seriously should we be taking those polls? Isn’t there a more accurate measurement of the electorate than a few thousand voters talking to a handful of pollsters? Seth Stephens-Davidowitz thinks so.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, doctoral candidate in economics at Harvard, says that if you really want to know what the average American is thinking about when it comes politics, don’t ask them — ask Google. Among the things you may be surprised to learn? "Paul Ryan shirtless" gets Googled nine times more often than "Paul Ryan budget."
In barely a decade and a half, Google has become an extension of our brains: with mobile devices and computers we can have the answer to a question before we complete a sentence. Google searches are a prosthetic memory, but they also may constitute an MRI of our collective personality – especially some of it's more disturbing aspects. The research of Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, doctoral candidate in economics at Harvard, focused on voting patterns and racial prejudice in Google searches.