This is a follow up to an article that appeared on Seeking Alpha (based on a topic that featured in the Topdown Charts Weekly Macro Themes last week). There were a lot of comments around how the polls are biased, and there probably is an element of bias in the polls, but rather than debate that, I decided to look into an alternative data source - Google search trends. It always pays to be on the look out for alternative indicators and data sources, and this is something we love doing!
It turns out the google trends analysis show Trump clearly out in the lead. First a methodological note: this chart uses data from google trends and it uses a composite of 5 search terms (weekly - the last observation is as at 16-Oct). 5 terms are used to try and capture the broader trend and avoid any outliers, the 5 terms are: "Trump" ("Clinton"), "vote Trump" ("vote Clinton"), "Donald Trump" ("Hillary Clinton"), 'presidential candidacy topic' for both, and "Trump Pence" ("Clinton Kaine"). The composite is an unweighted average, no smoothing is applied. The bottom line is the Trump search interest indicator is well above the Clinton search interest indicator. Now, this might not actually give an accurate guide to the candidate's performance because people can be searching "for the wrong reasons"... in any case though, if you subscribe to the school of though that all publicity is good publicity, then this chart is one to think about.
Bottom line: Search interest indicators using Google trends data show (in contrast to the polls) Trump well out in the lead - but this could be for "good" or "bad" reasons.