ADOTAS – The presidential election may be decided by Internet advertisements, a new study from Didit asserts. The search marketing firm found that “nearly 7% of those surveyed reported that were likely to change their vote before the election based on Internet Information acquired primarily through search engines.”
The key takeaway from the study however, is that campaign finance laws do not restrict how much a committee or individual can spend on buying search terms, providing a unique opportunity for one or both candidates to flood Google, Yahoo and Microsoft with ads.
“With no restrictions on how much an individual or political action committee can spend buying search terms, and no record of who is buying the ads, the candidate with the most sound search strategy could end up swaying the remaining undecided voters and winning the 2008 election,” said Kevin Lee, CEO and co-founder of Didit.
“As we near election day with a remarkably even presidential race, an enthusiastic and interested population will turn to search engines for as much information as possible,” said David Pasternack, Didit’s President. “The battle to influence these people has already begun, and is likely to intensify markedly in the next 60 days.”
Didit’s survey revealed that search is a highly effective way of targeting the coveted 7% of potential swing voters, and that a measurable correlation exists between the links selected after entering a search and the probability of a change of opinion about a candidate. People most likely to change their opinions are those who select links that favor the opposition. A 40% increase in the likelihood of an opinion change was the result of this action.
The survey was completed by 1,447 participants. Over 95% of participants are already registered to vote in the upcoming election.