Yahoo Launches Dashboard For 2008 Elections

Yahoo already has a 2008 election site with deep content on the candidates and issues. But digging through all that content to find relevant stats comparing the candidates can take awhile.

This afternoon the Elections team launched a new part of the site, called Dashboard, which contains basic polling and funding stats for each candidate in one easy to read screen.

Each candidate is listed, Democrats on the left and Republicans on the right. Next to each candidate’s picture are four basic stats:

  1. recent polling results, based on aggregated poll averages from Real Clear Politics
  2. “buzz” which shows the relative popularity based solely on Yahoo search queries
  3. prediction market, which shows the likelihood of a candidate to win based on real world, real money bets placed at Intrade, an Irish company
  4. total money raised for each candidate

Comparing the basic stats is fascinating. Ron Paul, for example, is only polling 4% versus other Republican candidates, but he has a whopping 37% relative to other candidates in searches. The prediction markets, though, are probably the most accurate data when it comes to predicting the actual winner of each primary. Hillary Clinton shows a current 61.3% likelihood of winning, even though she is only polling at 43%. When it comes to predictions, I’ll be watching the people betting real money vs. poll results.

Users can also click and see the data on a state-by-state basis, and see other demographic data. Click on any candidate and a pop up window appears with more detailed information (see screen shot below).

For people watching the elections, Yahoo’s election site, along with new startup Political Base (see our October coverage), are excellent resources. Of course, if you just can’t be bothered with following the news, this site will tell you who to vote for.

If you’re wondering why Yahoo, Political Base and lots of other companies are being so aggressive in rolling out election-based content sites, here’s why: a record $1 billion or more will be spent this year by the various campaigns in selling their candidates. Everyone wants their share of that huge cash pie.