The General Election is 7+ months away, but that's no reason to not start thinking about who the Governor is going to be come 2011. For the past year or two, I've been (in my day job) sharing some charts with various folks about using Insights for Search - a Google tool - to "predict the present".
There aren't many better mechanisms to discover what is on people's minds than using what they are searching for as a barometer. Towards that end, Google has a tool that marketers use to unearth trends and gain key insights into what their customers are buying.
As a means to see what the tool can do in practice, I've decided to chronicle the Illinois Governor's race via Google Search. Can Google "predict" the winner? We'll see.
Here's what I'm using for search terms. I am using all searches in Illinois - not just Chicago. (click on the image to make it bigger)
here. It is worth clicking through to see the full charts/images.