For the top two contenders for best picture, market research firm Farsite examined Google Trends data to determine how searches for terms related to Lincoln and Argo were behaving over time.
For Lincoln, the searches included "Lincoln Movie," "Daniel Day-Lewis" and "Steven Spielberg." For Argo, the searches included "Argo" and "Ben Affleck." We then weighted the searches against historical norms and to account for the fact that the Ben Affleck served as both director and lead actor in Argo.
The first set of data spanned 90 days before our Feb. 14 analysis; the second set focused on the 30 days before Feb. 14, and the last set covers the seven preceding days.
The data were then split by state to show which films seemed to be trending by geography. Each state was then weighted in accordance with the number of movie screens in that state to make the comparison to the Electoral College.