In a recent and ongoing project on political search media, we collect and analyze data from search engines’ results pages for queries related to political issues, such as the names of political candidates running for office. This project combines technological expertise in systems-building (to build web scrapers and computationally analyze the resulting large-scale data) with relevant theories from communication and political science. Among other findings, we identify differences in search media by candidate status comparing incumbents, challengers, and open seat candidates. This project is ongoing, and we look forward to studying the 2020 election cycle using a similar method.
Metaxa, D., Park, J.S., Landay, J.A., & Hancock, J.T. (2019) Search Media and Elections: A Longitudinal Investigation of Political Search Results in the 2018 U.S. Elections. In Proceedings of the ACM on Human Computer Interaction (PACM HCI) in companion to the 2019 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW’19).