PRAGUE, Czech Republic, November 5, 2012 – A survey of over 100,000 users of avast! Free Antivirus in the U.S. and its territories predicts Romney as the winner of the U.S. Presidency.
The AVAST survey targeted the company’s more than 10 million users avast! Free Antivirus in the U.S. and its territories and resulted in gathering opinions from over 100,000 people in two days, providing a sample size 100 times larger than what is typically taken by well-known polling firms like Gallup.
“Our reasons for doing the survey weren’t political in nature,” said Vince Steckler, AVAST Software CEO. “We usually use our surveys as an instrument for improving our software and services, but we wanted to see how quickly we’d be able to obtain an extremely large, targeted sample of public opinion.”
- According to AVAST’s survey, 48.9% of users who are registered voters said they will definitely vote for Romney, compared to 46.1% who will vote for Obama. Interpreted by electoral votes, it gives 290 to Romney and 230 to Obama.
- As to who they think will actually win the election, however, 47.6% said Obama compared to 39.6% to Romney. This gives 349 electoral votes to Obama and only 189 to Romney. Note the vast difference between avast! users’ intentions and expectations.
- The two closest states for “Who will you vote for?” are tied – with 46.9% for New Mexico and 47.6% for Virginia.
- Users of avast! in Florida said they will vote 49.2% for Romney and 47.5% for Obama; in Ohio, 48.8% to Romney and 46.3% to Obama; but in New Hampshire, 48.2% to Obama and 45.3% to Romney.
Various factors should be considered. For example, as all those that AVAST polled were users of the firm’s free software in the U.S., there could be economic correlations. Or, the general demographics of avast! users could skew results one way or another.
“When doing any sort of survey, a lot can be wrong with the data, but this is an interesting use of crowdsourcing,” said Mr. Steckler, “which is something the U.S. government has even turned to recently for its intelligence operations.”
The customized message function in AVAST’s antivirus software that was used in this survey was designed for quick communication with the company’s user base regarding security-related threats, helpful security information, and/or surveys to obtain data that might help in continually developing the best security solutions. In this case, however, AVAST wanted to pick a hot-button topic for testing the time it takes to obtain a very large targeted sample from its base of over 165 million protected devices.