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Want the most telling presidential polling data? Professor says turn to Twitter

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North­eastern assis­tant pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence Nick Beauchamp has created an innovative com­pu­ta­tional model to gauge up-​​to-​​date voter inten­tions in indi­vidual states using Twitter

National polls have tra­di­tion­ally been a go-to barom­eter to gauge public opinion of pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates and who has the inside track on the race for the White House. But North­eastern assis­tant pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence Nick Beauchamp says state-level polls pro­vide an even better example of voter inten­tion. The problem, he says, is that state-level polling is rare and often focuses pri­marily on swing states.

So Beauchamp cre­ated an inno­v­a­tive com­pu­ta­tional model to gauge up-to-date voter inten­tions in indi­vidual states using Twitter. In a paper pub­lished on Sept. 13 in the Amer­ican Journal of Polit­ical Sci­ence, Beauchamp explains that social media is an ideal plat­form for pre­dic­tive polling data.

There is a strong need for tem­poral data in a short period of time,” said Beauchamp, who studies polit­ical per­sua­sion and how polit­ical opin­ions are formed and change over time. “State-level polling is expen­sive and hard to do well. But if we could afford it, we would poll on an even finer level.”

Read the full story at news@Northeastern.

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