Political consultants, university sociologists and amateur statisticians are now one step closer to using data from Twitter like they use polling data.

An Indiana University study has pulled, from the noise and muck of the stream, a statistically significant relationship between Twitter data and U.S. election results.

Specifically, the study found a correlation between the number of times a candidate for the House of Representatives was mentioned on Twitter in the months before an election and his or her performance in that election. The more a candidate is mentioned on Twitter, the better.

Previous studies have found a loose relationship between activity on Twitter and financial or political events. A 2010 study found that certain ways of analyzing Twitter could foretell a film's success at the box office better than a prediction market for that purpose.

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