Turning Out New Voters

By Sarah Dutton 

Each election season there is speculation about whether new voters will turn out and which candidate will motivate them to do so.  New voters can contribute to a candidate’s bloc of voter support, and turning out first-time voters is often a sign that a candidate is generating enthusiasm. And while it may not guarantee becoming the party’s nominee, energizing first-time voters can provide a compelling campaign narrative for a candidate heading into and during the caucuses and primaries. 

During past Democratic caucuses and primaries, entrance and exit polls conducted by Edison Research showed both Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2008 were able to energize and motivate voters who were attending a caucus or voting in a primary for the first time.   

In 2016, Sanders was best able to mobilize the support of newer voters. First-time caucus attendees accounted for 44% of Iowa Democrats in their caucuses, and Sanders won those voters handily (although Hillary Clinton won the caucuses overall). 

In 2008, Obama was especially able to energize and turn out this group; a 57% majority of Iowa Democratic caucus goers said they were attending their first caucus, and Obama won the caucuses that year. It is worth noting that Obama’s Iowa win in 2008 may have contributed to a shift in the Democratic race. In the months leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Clinton was ahead in just about every national poll that asked about the Democratic nominating contest. Later in January, after Iowa and New Hampshire held their contests, Obama began to lead Clinton in some national polls, perhaps because Democratic primary voters perceived him as more electable after his Iowa win. 

Turning to New Hampshire, in the past two Democratic primaries the Edison Research exit polls show fewer new voters compared to Iowa – less than one in five voters there were voting in a primary for the first time. But Sanders won them by a large margin in 2016, and Obama won a 47% plurality of them in 2008.  

Why were these new voters energized to turn out? The 2016 Iowa caucus entrance poll provides evidence of new voters’ connection with Sanders. They were twice as likely as more seasoned attendees to say that only Bernie Sanders represented their values, and less likely to identify with the values of Hillary Clinton. 

In the 2016 New Hampshire exit polls, Sanders’ support from new voters shows more clearly that many of these voters were motivated by support for him specifically. New Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire were more likely than those who had voted previously to say they were in tune only with Sanders’ values – 51% did so. 

 

While nearly nine in ten new Democratic voters in New Hampshire said they would be satisfied if Sanders won the nomination, a majority also said they would not be satisfied if Clinton won. By comparison, majorities of those who had voted before said they would be happy with each candidate as the nominee. (Overall, 62% of New Hampshire voters said they would be satisfied with Clinton as the nominee, and 79% said the same for Sanders.) 

Demographically, first time voters in Iowa and New Hampshire were significantly younger than voters who had caucused or voted before.  

In 2016, Bernie Sanders went on to win first-time caucus/primary voters in the next set of nominating contests after Iowa and New Hampshire as well – a clear demonstration that he had energized a newer, younger bloc of voters to come out and participate in the nominating process. In the Nevada Democratic caucuses, entrance polls show that fully 62% of caucus-goers were attending for the first time, and Sanders won them 53% to 44%. And while a much smaller 13% of South Carolina Democratic primary voters were new voters, Sanders won them as well, 63% to 37%, according to the exit poll. Of course, despite this support Sanders did not become the Democratic nominee that year. 

So, which candidate will generate enthusiasm among these newer attendees and voters in Iowa and New Hampshire this year? Will Sanders replicate his 2016 success?  Will first-timers be a determining factor in which candidate becomes the eventual nominee? These are among the key stories to watch for next month as the 2020 Democratic nominating contests get under way.

The Youth Vote

By Sarah Dutton 

Young people under age 30 seem highly politically engaged in the run-up to the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. It is impossible to predict how they will vote or why, but a look at their voting behavior, political leanings and priorities in the 2016 Edison Research exit polls suggest some trends to consider for the 2020 Democratic primaries.  

Throughout the primaries and caucuses in 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders received strong support from voters under 30, according to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research.  In the 2016 Iowa caucuses, the first of the Democratic nominating contests, caucus-goers under 30 supported Sanders over Hillary Clinton by a very lop-sided margin – 84% to just 14% for Clinton.  Sanders won voters under 30 by similarly large margins in New Hampshire (83% to 16%) and Nevada (82% to 14%).  

In fact, Sanders bested Clinton among voters under 30 in all the 2016 primary contests covered by the exit poll except Alabama and Mississippi. Looking at exit polls from all the Democratic nominating contests in 2016 combined, Sanders won 71% of the vote from those under 30, while Clinton won 28%; a landslide for Sanders and the inverse of the vote among those age 65 and older. 

 

In addition to their vote choice, younger voters also differentiated themselves attitudinally from voters who were older. The 2016 exit polls reveal an under-30 electorate that identified as more liberal (and preferred more liberal policies), more concerned about income inequality and less interested in a candidate’s experience than older voters. 

Importantly, voters under 30 were more liberal than older voters. Combining all the exit polls from the 2016 Democratic nominating races finds that 35% of younger voters described themselves as very liberal – far higher than the 28% of voters age 30 to 44, 21% of those age 45 to 64 and 22% of 65+ voters who did so. And these young voters were far less likely to call themselves moderates. 

 

Unlike older voters, those under 30 wanted the next president to promote policies that were more liberal than those of President Barack Obama.  

 

Like voters of all ages, voters under 30 prioritized the economy and jobs as the most important issue facing the country.  But they differed significantly from older voters in their concern about income inequality; 34% chose that as most important, the largest percentage of any age group. Health care and terrorism ranked much lower. 

 

The qualities they looked for in a candidate differentiated them from older voters too. In 2016, voters under 30 were notably less interested than older voters in a candidate’s experience and more attuned to whether he or she cared about them and was honest. 

 

But generating turnout among young voters can be a challenge. According to the exit polls, voters under age 30 were just 17% of all those who cast votes in the 2016 nominating contests. The coming months will determine whether that holds true in the 2020 nominating contests as well. 

 

Looked at more broadly, young voters are reliably Democratic voters in presidential elections and have historically favored Democratic candidates. While they were Sanders supporters during the primaries, in the 2016 general election Democrat Hillary Clinton won among this group by 19 points: 55% voted for her, while 36% voted for Republican Donald Trump.  In 2008, Barack Obama was elected with strong support from voters under 30, winning this age group by 34 points.  If recent history is a guide, whoever wins the Democratic nomination should continue to enjoy the strong support of voters under 30. 

Since 2004, The National Election Pool (NEP) and Edison Research have conducted the only national exit polls in the United States. The NEP is the source for projections and analysis for every midterm election, presidential primary and presidential election.  

 

 

The Infinite Dial 2020 — Save the Date

Please save the date for The Infinite Dial® 2020 webinar presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital, which will take place on Thursday, March 19th, at 1 PM Eastern.  

For the first time in Infinite Dial history, the webinar will be presented both online and in-person, at a live event in New York City.   

Presenters Tom Webster (Senior Vice President, Edison Research) and John Rosso (President, Market Development of Triton Digital) will once again be delivering the latest data with their usual blend of humor and insight and responding to your tweets live during the webinar. The live event will also feature a luncheon, a Q&A with Tom and John, and a networking hour for in-person attendees.

Information on the in-person event will be released in the coming weeks.

To register for the online webinar, click here. 

The Infinite Dial® remains the longest-running study of consumer behaviors around media and technology in America. This year, we will continue to measure a number of trends in media usage and consumption habits around streaming media, radio, mobile media, social media behaviors, and more, in addition to an expanded podcasting and smart speaker section. Attendees will learn how the streaming audio landscape has changed, which social media platforms are growing, and how smart speaker ownership is trending.

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

About Triton Digital®
Triton Digital® is the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry. Operating in more than 40 countries, Triton provides innovative technology that enables broadcasters, podcasters, and online music services to build their audience, maximize their revenue, and streamline their day-to-day operations. In addition, Triton powers the global online audio industry with Webcast Metrics®, the leading online audio measurement service and Podcast Metrics, one of the first IAB certified podcast measurement services in the industry. With unparalleled integrity, excellence, teamwork, and accountability, Triton remains committed to connecting audio, audience, and advertisers to continuously fuel the growth of the global online industry. Triton Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP). For more information, visit www.TritonDigital.com.

What really happens on Iowa Caucus night?

By Sarah Dutton

Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have represented the first presidential nomination contest and therefore receive a great deal of attention. They can provide surprises (Barack Obama, who trailed Hillary Clinton in national polls, won Iowa in 2008), catapult a nationally unknown candidate into the lead (Jimmy Carter in 1976) or be nail-biters (the 2012 Republican caucus was the closest in Iowa history with Rick Santorum edging Mitt Romney by less than a tenth of percentage point, and the 2016 Democratic caucus had Hillary Clinton defeating Bernie Sanders by a quarter of a percent). 

For those of us who don’t live in Iowa, the caucuses can be downright confusing; the caucus process is very different from a primary, which is what most voters are familiar with.  What is a caucus? Do voters cast votes? How does a candidate “win” in Iowa?  How are the results determined?  Here is a primer on the Democratic caucuses that will help explain what you’ll see, hear or read reported on February 3, and what it means.

The Democratic caucuses are essentially community meetings. They can be held in many types of places, including schools and churches.  Unlike in a primary, where voters can vote throughout the day and evening, caucuses begin throughout the state at a uniform time – 7 p.m. Central Standard Time.

When they enter the caucuses, many Democratic caucus attendees will have a candidate in mind to support.  Once the caucus has begun, voters divide into groups according to which candidate they support, often referred to as their “first preference.”  Undecided voters also form a group supporting “Uncommitted.  At this point, at least 15% of caucus-goers at that site must support a candidate for the candidate to reach the “viability” threshold.  Voters who support candidates receiving less than 15% must then realign themselves with another candidate, or they can try to persuade other voters to back their candidate until the 15% threshold is reached.  

For instance, if Candidate A doesn’t receive 15% support, then their supporters must choose from the other viable candidates in the race (Candidate B, C, D, etc.) or convince more voters to back Candidate A.  Since this is a fluid process, voters may end up supporting a different candidate than they did when they first entered the caucus. And all this occurs within the privacy of the caucus location.  

Once the final candidate groups are formed, support for each viable candidate is translated into “state delegate equivalents” – the number of delegates who will go to the Iowa state Democratic convention (and eventually the national Democratic convention) in support of each candidate.  

The process can throw a curve ball to pre-election pollsters in Iowa. Polls conducted before the caucuses may accurately measure the first preference of voters there, but not reflect the post-viability realignment that occurs during the caucus.  This is especially a concern when there is a large field of candidates running for the nomination, many of whom will not meet the viability threshold. 

In caucus states, Edison Research conducts an entrance poll, rather than an exit poll; voters complete the entrance poll questionnaire as they enter the caucuses. (By contrast, in states with primaries, voters are asked to fill out a questionnaire as they leave their voting place, after they have voted.)  That’s because caucus-goers all leave the caucus at the same time, when the grouping process is over; it would be challenging to sample voters as they all leave their caucus together.   

Edison Research has conducted the Iowa Caucus entrance poll since 2004. On Caucus night, Edison staff will be interviewing voters as they enter Caucus sites. Edison will measure caucus goer’s initial preference and will later tabulate both the pre and post “viability” vote in each location (also referred to as “first alignment and “final alignment”).  Also for the first time the Iowa State Democratic Party will be reporting three sets of results – the first alignment preference, the final alignment preference and the state delegate equivalents.  So be prepared for different candidates leading each set of results and possibly different orders of finish. 

That’s the caucus process in a nutshell. Enjoy watching or reading about the results! 

 

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space.  Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.

Out-of-Home Case Study: Health Media Network

Health Media Network’s tagline, “Patient Education at the Point of Care,” appropriately illustrates how the company works to educate patients on-site through a system of digital media, which delivers targeted health education in doctors’ offices.

When Health Media Network wanted to measure the effectiveness of an OTC health brand promotion, they engaged Edison Research to assist with their research goals. The goal of the research was to “examine the impact and effectiveness of the Health Media Network promotional campaign on brand engagement, opinion and purchase intent.” We implemented an on-site intercept study across doctor offices in multiple locations to gather data.

Our experienced interviewers identified patients age 18+ leaving doctor’s offices in multiple locations who recalled seeing a digital video display on-site and conducted an interview to determine ad effectiveness. Those who did not recall seeing a digital video display were also interviewed as a control group.

Through this on-site intercept study, we were able to answer many of the research questions posed by HMN. First, those who recalled the ad are highly engaged with the brand, with 57% having a more favorable brand opinion after the exposure. We found that there was brand lift associated with the HMN promotion, including increased purchases in the next twelve months, brand recommendations, and brand relevance. Sixty percent of those who recalled ads said the ad was more believable because it was in a doctor’s office versus on their television at home.

Because interviewers interact directly with respondents, they are able to collect direct quotes from those who recall (or don’t recall) out-of-home ads, such as, “I’m listening to advice more carefully at the doctor’s.” These in-person interactions can create a more complete understanding of the success of the brand campaign.

 

For more information on our custom digital out-of-home research capabilities, please contact info@edisonresearch.com.

Click here to access On-Site Insights, a digital out-of-home study conducted by Edison Research to gauge recall and perceptions of DOOH advertising in the places where consumers work, shop, eat, and travel. 

About Edison’s Out of Home Research: Edison Research is one of the leading out-of-home media and marketing research companies in the world, with an unparalleled ability to conduct logistically complicated projects in multiple locations quickly and efficiently. We have over 19,000 trained pollsters and utilize our experience as the sole provider of exit polling data to develop cost-effective and sound methodology for determining consumer opinion. We measure opportunity to see, vehicle and advertising reach, dwell time and other audit metrics, as well as key effectiveness measures like awareness/lift, usage and willingness to consider. We can also gather important demographic, psychographic and behavioral information about your audience or customers to help optimize current campaigns and inform future ones.

About Health Media Network:
via www.hmnads.com — Launched in 2007, Health Media Network (HMN) is a leading and trusted Digital Point of Care media company. HMN provides targeted health education in Physician Waiting Rooms and Hospital Systems to advance consumer health literacy and facilitate better doctor/patient conversations.