Even though the presidential elections are still nine months away, the political circus in the U.S. is in full swing already (and has been for months), thanks to the impending start of the Republican primaries tomorrow. As usual, Google will offer its own set of tools for keeping track of all the developments during these upcoming months. Today, the company launched Google.com/Elections, which provides votes and journalists with up-to-date news about the campaigns, as well as easy access to Google’s own tools for those directly involved in the political process (Google+, YouTube, AdWords, for example).
Maybe the most interesting aspect of the site is the real-time dashboard, which displays recent search trends, Google News mentions and YouTube video views for all the candidates. The recent surge of Rick Santorum’s campaign, for example, is nicely illustrated by this tool.
Unsurprisingly, Google today also launched a Google+ page for its elections site.
In 2008, Google also offered an election website. That site, however, only launched a few days before the start of the political conventions in August instead of at the start of the primary season. At the time, Google allowed the campaigns and a select group of reporters to highlight specific news stories on the site. It doesn’t look like this feature will make a return this year.