Government
11:02 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Politicit Makes Elections Predictions Based on Social Media Chatter

No one has a crystal ball to predict the upcoming election results, but one man says he's close.

A year ago, Josh Light says he introduced his web site, Politicit, which gives candidates an "it" score based on social media chatter and main stream media reports.

"You take all this data based on what people are doing and saying on the internet, we put it through a machine learning algorithm, and then it gives us a score we call an "it" score, and it correlates with election results," he said.

Light got the idea after he saw a comment on Twitter made by former Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman made a lot of waves. Light thought: if data could be collected and tested on what people were saying, it might be able to make predictions on the outcome of races.

Light made about 300 predictions in the primaries, and he says he was about 90 percent accurate. In the race for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas, being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Paul Sadler are going head to head.

"From the numbers that we have, Ted Cruz has an "it" score of 53, so he's winning by quite a large margin. Sadler had an "it" score of 15," Light said.

How about the newly created Congressional District 35 between Democrat Lloyd Doggett and Republican Susan Narvaiz?

"Lloyd Doggett is winning by a considerable margin," said Light. "It looks like he has about a 72 and Narvaiz has about a 17."

And the hot race for Congressional District 23 between incumbent Republican Francisco Canseco and Democrat Pete Gallego.

"That's a pretty close race actually," said Light. "Canseco has about a 43 and Gallego has about a 41 so that could really go either way."

Although Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did well, according to analysts, following the first debate between him and President Barack Obama, the "it" score still favors Obama. The latest "it" numbers Thursday showed Obama with 75 to Romney's 53, based on all those political musings on the internet.

Light says he's been all over the place politically, but says now he just wants to promote political transparency in government.

Races aside, you can tell us what you think of Politicit by Tweeting us @TPRNews.