Mountain View, CA – Google announced that it had developed a CandidateRank algorithm that would successfully predict the outcome of the 2008 presidential election.
Alvin Stern, who heads the development team, said Google would be keeping the results secret as to not influence the election even though they had 100% confidence in their result.
“We've got a tremendous amount of data at our disposal. From satellite imagery of early voting polling stations, mentions of voting preferences in Gmail and even data on results of online polls,” said Stern. “Nate [Silver] at fivethirtyeight.com may think he's got a great model to predict the outcome, but when you've got the data we've got available at Google it makes his predictions look like throwing darts.”
Stern said they were able to predict the winner, the final vote count, the exact minute when the winner would be declared as well as the color of tie both candidates would be wearing on election night.
“It's taken a lot of the mystery out of it for our engineers, but at least they know they'll be able to get to bed early on election night,” said Stern.
Some doubt that Google could predict the winner of the election so far out when external events could dramatically shift the election, but Stern said they can accurately predict the events for the next three weeks. “We've had this capability for quite some time which is why we've been so successful. We're only up to a three-week predictive ability, but with more servers and a tweaked algorithm we should be able to significantly increase that time frame.”
In 2004 the algorithm only provided a ten-minute advance warning of a Bush victory, but it accurately predicted the vote counts in all fifty states which give Stern a 100% degree of confidence in their methods.
Google promised that it would “do no evil” with this information.