January 3, 2012

Just In Time: Google's New Elections Portal

GOOGLE HAS launched its elections portal for the U.S. presidential election, with news and videos from the Iowa caucuses. The site also has links to a 2012 political calendars where you can track the whereabouts of all the presidential candidates as they begin to leave Iowa to campaign more heavily in other states.

There is also a "Politics & Elections Toolkit" that claims you can organize staff, reach voters and get a scoop. The marketing piece says, "Use Google's tools for a leg up in politics." This section has links for Google+, YouTube and Ads along with Google apps which could be used for campaigns - one nice feature is that it has a section titled, 'I am a..." Media Consultant, Journalist, Developer, Campaign Manager and IT or New Media Manager" and it gives examples of how the Google tools might be used for that job description.

There are three other features that merit a mention. The first is Trends. If you click "Trends," you get  search trends for each candidate based on volumes, Google News mentions and YouTube Video views.

If you click on "Results" - well that's pretty clear but remember the caucuses begin at 7 PM CST. And if you click on "On the Ground," a map of Iowa is returned that shows the locations of various campaign videos and news items which you can click to view (see graphic above).

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