Monday, May 18, 2009

2012 GOP Candidate Emergence Tracker

The new, embeddable Google Trends Gadget will come in handy I think. I'll still put together the monthly posts (Where is that April one again?), but this gives everyone the chance for one-stop, do-it-yourself searching on the possible contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

The plusses are obvious, but let's talk a bit about the minuses with the gadget.
  • First, just like the Google Trends application, you are limited to just five search terms. When we're talking about 8 or 10 or 12 possible candidates, though, you've got a problem. Fortunately, there's a something of a work-around. Don't like Tim Pawlenty occupying that fifth spot? Fine, click "edit" in the upper right corner of the figure and substitute Bobby Jindal or Kay Bailey Hutchinson or John Huntsman [oops] Thune/Ensign. This is where the monthly aggregations of this data will be helpful: putting everyone -- all 10 or 12 candidates -- side by side.
  • I would also like to have this thing up and refreshing in the sidebar in real time, but the parameters of the gadget make it too large to fit there. My attempts to resize it only altered the frame size, not the graph itself. The smaller I made it, the more the frame zoomed in on the upper left corner. The proper dimensions for the sidebar left me with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich's names and a couple of Sarah Palin's peaks from the line graph. Not an ideal visual representation. What I'll do then is similar to what I've already done with the primary calendar maps in the left sidebar. I'll put one of the graph pictures in its own sidebar widget and make the picture a live link to this post/gadget so you can have an updated look. I'll also periodically update the picture (weekly?), so that it doesn't stagnate.
I think that's it. Happy candidate tracking.

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Jack said...

The image is cutting off about three days before the end of the tracker.

Josh Putnam said...

And that will be another bug with the gadget.

Everything is rendering fine on my end, but I think the issue is that the frame doesn't resize itself for each computer's/browser's zoom setting. It's a pain, but try hitting the control and minus keys together two or three times. That'll shrink the font size and everything else -- including the picture -- but it should get the full picture in.

In the meantime, I'll see if I can find the code to fix the issue.

Jack said...

Yeah, ctrl-minus fixes it.