Bing may have been developed as a search engine, but Microsoft is increasingly using its power to predict the future. In recent months, we’ve seen it prognosticate on who will win Super Bowl and March Madness, and it even called Leo’s win at last night’s Oscars. But now it is moving onto even more serious topic: politics.
Microsoft announced a new round of predictions today for tomorrow’s Super Tuesday primary elections. The predictions are part of an update to the Search Wave tool, which lets users get an in-depth look at which candidates are getting searched for on Bing in each state. It also breaks down results on gender and age lines to get a better picture of who’s stirring up interest in specific groups.
However, the Search Wave tool isn’t what’s used in Bing’s predictions; instead, it used machine-learning predictive models to analyze polls and other predictions, along with search data and social media posts, to see who will win the popular vote (not the delegate count) in each state. The prediction engine got seven out of eight primaries right in February, and plans to match or exceed those results in the 11 primaries/caucuses being held tomorrow.
For Republican races, Donald Trump is expected to win all but Texas; Ted Cruz is expected to take the popular vote in his home state. After a loss in Iowa, Trump has yet to lose a primary and is widely expected to do well tomorrow.
On the Democratic side, Bing also predicts Hillary Clinton to take most of the popular vote contests, again only losing to Bernie Sanders in his home state of Vermont. Clinton is predicted to win with more than 60 percent of the vote in most contests, according to Bing.
However, her support has only gotten this large in recent days by Bing’s measurements; before her South Carolina win, she was expected to lose to Sanders in three additional states.
You can look at all of Bing’s predictions over on the Bing blog. And while Bing has more data for the elections than the Academy Awards, it should be noted that it didn’t score perfectly during the Oscars—while it predicted Leo’s win, it failed to predict Spotlight taking home Best Picture.
So those who are feeling the Bern or wanting a Rubio resurgence shouldn’t be too put-off by Microsoft’s machine fortune teller.