The 2012 Presidential election is set to diverge dramatically from previous contests in terms of online activity – 90% of U.S households with any computer have broadband Internet access according to a recent analyst report, compared to just 57% in 2008. With this new online battlefield in play, Chitika Insights’ newest tracker looks to break down how each candidate is performing when it comes to important issues, battleground states, and other key metrics.

— New Tracker from Chitika Insights Analyzes Election-related Web Traffic in Real Time —

Note: Tracker-specific figures referenced below are current at time of publishing but may have changed since

The 2012 Presidential election is set to be one of the most widely publicized in U.S history, with each candidate and their supporters primed to blast the airwaves with tens of millions of dollars of political advertisements leading up to the November 6th election. But where this election is even more likely to diverge from previous contests is in online activity – 90% of U.S households with any computer have broadband Internet access according to a recent analyst report, compared to just 57% in 2008.

With this new online battlefield in play, Chitika Insights’ newest tracker looks to break down how each candidate is performing when it comes to important issues, battleground states, and other key metrics.

Below, we provide an analysis of each section included in the tracker. For a detailed explanation of how we calculate these numbers, please see our accompanying methodology.

  • Top Line Graph & Accompanying Pie Chart

Overall, Romney-related search queries have held a 2nd place position to those mentioning President Obama. However, the former Governor has seen several large spikes following the recent Republican National Convention in Tampa. President Obama also has seen a post-convention bump in his overall share of U.S search queries, and has largely maintained that pace since the convention concluded on September 6th. The large spike for Romney-related queries on September 4th was due to the rumored Nicki Minaj endorsement of the Republican candidate in a new song.

  • State Map: The state map highlights the level of interest driven by the two respective presidential candidates across the U.S, using a 24 hour average. The data is reported with a six hour delay to ensure maximum continuity. Percentages for each candidate are calculated based off of their level of search interest relative to the aggregate share. These percentages are then relayed across the map; states in which Barack Obama has a greater than 50% share of interest will be colored with a more blue hue, while states in which Mitt Romney exhibits a majority share of interest will be colored a more red hue.

Across the U.S, Mitt Romney and President Obama continue to battle it out for citizens’ votes as we approach the November election season. This heated contest is reflected in the Candidate Search Heat Map, which shows many neck and neck contests in individual states. We’ve also seen candidate visits to particular states correspond with a bump for that candidate when it comes to search activity, most recently with Mitt Romney visit to Ohio on September 10th.

  • Top Cities: The top cities section focuses on the level of interest driven by the two respective presidential candidates across the five largest cities in the US. This data is calculated using a 24 hour average with a six hour delay to ensure maximum continuity within the data. The percentage figure above the displayed city skyline shows the current level of search interest for the respective candidate, with the associated keyword displayed below.

Currently, President Obama holds the largest mindshare in the five largest cities across the U.S, maintaining a more than 75% majority in his home town of Chicago, along with Los Angeles, New York City and Houston.

  • Leading Cities: The leading cities for the candidates are calculated by measuring the search interest for the respective candidates across the 50 largest cities in the U.S.  This data is calculated using a 24 hour average with a six hour delay to ensure maximum continuity within the data. The two cities in which each respective candidate generate the highest ratio of search interest are then relayed on the 2012 Presidential Election Tracker.

Across the largest 50 cities in the U.S., Obama does best in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he is reported to have a mindshare of 91.3%. Our data has also found Mitt Romney struggling in larger cities. His largest confirmed share of interest stems from Boston where he has a 37.3% mindshare. The Chitika Insights team has found that high search mindshare for a particular candidate oftentimes does not correlate with polling results for that state, as evidenced by President Obama’s high degree of search interest in Fort Worth, despite Texas being an overwhelmingly Republican state.

  • Leading Issues: The leading issues for the 2012 election campaign are calculated using a list of keywords for each respective subject. This data is calculated using a 7 day average with a six hour delay to ensure maximum continuity within the data. They are then dynamically ranked from one through ten, according to the level of volume generated by each issue. The size of the bar line next to each issue is driven by the corresponding level of volume generated.

In the 2012 Presidential Election, the Economy is taking center stage as one of the major issues which will play a part in deciding the presidential race, although the number of environment-related queries took the top spot earlier this week. Aside from those two hot topics, abortion and gun control represent the top four issues for this election at this time. Notably, following both national conventions, health care, previously the third-most popular topic this election cycle, slipped to the fifth spot, and presently represents the 10th most popular issue with U.S Web searchers.