Who will win the US presidential election? Google calling it first

8 Nov 2016

US presidential election. Image: JStone/Shutterstock

The race to call the US presidential election is getting shorter and shorter in the internet age. Google thinks it has this one under control.

Social media companies are trying to make the US presidential election run as smoothly as possible, both in a voting and reporting sense.

Google, once a mere search engine before becoming a tech behemoth and generally accepted verb, announced this week that it would start publishing results right after voting finishes today (8 November).

Future Human


On what’s known as the down-ballot elections, Google will also publish results of state and local elections and ballots that are also taking place today.

“Starting when the polls close on election day, you will be able to find US election results integrated right into your Google searches in over 30 languages around the world,” said Shashi Thakur, vice president of engineering at Google Search.

“You’ll also be able to see detailed updates and results of the presidential, senatorial, congressional [and] gubernatorial races, as well as state-level referenda and ballot propositions,” he said.


Users just type in “election results” into Google and it brings up the data for all the votes counted at the time for all the different elections taking place (above).

The results seem pretty easy to read and will be updated every 30 seconds, with numbers and a simple graph: blue for Democrats and red for Republicans.

In the lead-up to the election, numerous tech companies lent a helping hand to those looking to register and vote.

Last month, Twitter provided a tool to help users to register to vote. Largely an assistance-based service, users were allowed to simply send a private direct message to @Gov with their five-digit zip code.

This tailored the assistance they received, with that person then getting an automatic direct message response, including their state’s voter registration deadline and a personalised link to get registered.

Google was assisting US voters in much the same way. A simple search of ‘register to vote’ revealed voting requirements, guidelines and info on how to register across various formats.

In the US, a specific Google Doodle was created on much the same theme. YouTube started its own initiative to get people registered in recent weeks, with Facebook too running its own campaign.

According to Bloomberg, which is tracking the 2016 presidential money race, the Clinton campaign has so far spent $898m out of a $1.07bn war chest while the Trump campaign has spent $430m out of $512m.

US presidential election. Image: JStone/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic