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Celebrities Could Possibly Help Biden Win The Election

Celebrity influence in politics is not necessarily a new strategy, but it’s one that could help land Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House.

We recently partnered with Nielsen Music/MRC Data and DISQO to survey 1,103 likely voters on the topic. The poll was conducted between October 8th and 13th.

Among the many takeaways from the study, three to highlight include:

1. The Celebrity Effect Helps Biden

12% of likely voters say that entertainers or athletes have influenced their decision on the upcoming election. Among them, 69% are voting for Biden. That translates to north of 8% overall going toward Biden – which is critical in an election that will likely be decided by single-digits.

2. What Response? Trump and GOP Rate Way Behind

There are a myriad of issues facing Americans today. When looking at four key issues — COVID-19, Racial Justice, Climate Change, and Participating in this Year’s Election — Trump and Republicans in Congress rate significantly behind essentially everyone on having “done the right thing” in their response and actions. Joe Biden, Democrats in Congress, Brands, Celebs, Athletes, and even the News Media — all of them rate ahead of Trump and Republicans in Congress on every. single. issue. We’ll see how these feelings translate on Election Day.

3. The Most Influential Celebrities Endorse Biden

Want to win? Get endorsements from Tom Hanks, The Rock, Oprah, LeBron, Robert De Niro, and more.

Biden’s done that. In fact, most celebrities that earned top spots across demographics (except Republicans) have all endorsed Biden.

Fun Fact: of the 29 accounts Joe Biden follows on Twitter, the only entertainer is Lady Gaga — aka the most influential celebrity among LGBTQ Voters.

Check out more takeaways from the poll at Billboard.

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Data Opinion

Amy Coney Barrett is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in modern history

By Madison Ulczak

To me and to many Americans, Donald Trump’s late-term appointment to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, is the antithesis of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A cultural icon, champion of women’s rights and of equality for LGBTQ Americans, there is no Supreme Court justice that has achieved the level of cultural status that RBG did. It could be that the late supreme court justice was an alum of my alma mater, or that I could count on her to fight for me and my rights as a woman. Regardless of the reason, I felt a connection (like I’m sure so many others did) to RBG. I was confident and comforted in having someone who would have my back and be in my corner sitting in the highest court in the land. Despite her age and knowing she had battled stints with cancer, her passing rocked me.

And now, President Trump’s nomination to fill the vacant seat with Judge Amy Coney Barrett threatens to dismantle much of the progress that RBG spent her life advancing.

In new polling, we set out to understand how voters are reacting to Barrett’s nomination. We find that Barrett is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee since Robert Bork. Barrett’s unpopularity is even stronger than opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in 2018.

To give a bit of history, Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1987 but ultimately rejected by the Senate due, in part, to his open opposition to civil rights and anti-choice views.

At the time of Bork’s nomination, Senator Ted Kennedy took to the Senate floor with a strong condemnation of him, declaring:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.”

Sound familiar?

It should, as racism in America and a woman’s right to make decisions about her body still stand as central issues in our country’s political debates. It seems as 2020 has propelled us back to 1987 as both these topics, and more, have also risen during Barrett’s senate hearing, as the Judge has been described as “unashamedly Pro-Life” and openly against gay marriage.

Given her stance on these issues, we wanted to better understand perceptions of Barrett among voters whose personal lives may be directly impacted by her appointment to the Supreme Court. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Barrett’s favorability ratings plummet even further when you look at women (-12) and LGBTQ Americans (-14). Individuals who likely realize that Barrett’s position on reproductive rights and marriage equality stand in direct opposition of the views – and life work of the Champion they once had in their corner.

But despite the fact that a plurality of Americans oppose Barrett, Republicans are relentlessly forcing her nomination to go through the Senate before the election. With the election just over two weeks away, if confirmed, Barrett’s appointment would be, by far, the closest a Supreme Court appointment has ever happened to an election. This also comes at a time when just four years ago, in March of 2016, Republicans refused to vote on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. The Republican led Senate argued that the American people should have a say, and as it was Obama’s last term in office, the next president should make the nomination.

The argument to not fill a vacancy during an election year that the Republicans made four years ago seems to have disappeared, though. Regardless that 17 million Americans have already voted, and many for new leadership, the sentiment that the “American people should have a say” seems entirely lost. Forcing Barrett’s unpopular nomination, at a time of intense political divisiveness just weeks ahead of the election Republicans threaten to delegitimize the sanctity of the Supreme Court. An action that will result in Democrats having to take steps – should they win the Presidency and control in the Senate – to restore a non-partisan system.

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Data Media Politics

New Whitman Insight Strategies Poll Finds Double-Digit Biden Lead Nationally

Ahead of a series of dueling town halls tonight – replacing what was supposed to be the second presidential debate – a new Whitman Insight Strategies poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden holds a double-digit lead against Donald Trump among likely voters nationally.

This poll was conducted between October 8th and 13th.

With less than three weeks left until Election Day, Trump faces a significant deficiency among the very voters who propelled him to an Electoral College victory against Hillary Clinton four years ago: Independents, seniors, college educated white voters, and suburban white women.

As of today, more than 17 million Americans have already voted, either by mail or early in-person. With Trump supporters abiding by their candidate’s conspiracies about the effectiveness of voting early, Biden is banking a substantial lead among these early voters. Among the 11% of voters in our poll who say they have already voted, Biden leads by 54-points. He also holds substantial leads among voters who plan to vote by mail or early in-person in the coming days.

For voters, this election is turning into a referendum on honesty and integrity. In this time of national crisis, voters are looking for a leader who they can trust to navigate American through its challenges.

In our poll, we asked voters what words come to mind when they think of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The top word associated with Donald Trump is LIAR. The top word associated with Joe Biden is HONEST.

This is a vastly different election environment than 2016, when voters generally had negative perceptions of both major party candidates and neither Clinton nor Trump were especially well trusted.

This year, voters find the incumbent president ineffective and think he has not been truthful to the American people about a virus that has claimed more than 215,000 American lives under his watch.

With just 19 days until the election, Trump will need to prove voters’ lying eyes wrong.

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Data Politics

New Whitman Insight Strategies Poll Finds Biden Lead in ‘Tipping Point’ Pennsylvania

In the wake of last week’s vice presidential debate and Donald Trump’s coronavirus hospitalization, a new Whitman Insight Strategies poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden holds a 5-point lead among likely voters in Pennsylvania.

This poll was conducted between October 5th and 9th.

As the Washington Post wrote this weekend Pennsylvania is the ‘tipping point’ state in this election, the state that will secure the presidency for Biden or Trump. As such, both candidates are increasingly focused on the pivotal role that Pennsylvania will play in deciding the outcome of the presidential race.

Our full findings present a troubling picture for Donald Trump. Both candidates have consolidated their base, with Trump winning 86% of Republicans and Biden winning 89% of Democrats. But among non-affiliated voters, Biden holds a commanding 13-point lead. Trump won these same voters by a 7-point margin against Hillary Clinton four years ago.

Our poll also finds a historically massive voting mode difference exists in Pennsylvania. Biden is winning among voters who plan to vote early or by mail by a 52-point margin. Among voters who plan to vote in-person on Election Day, Trump is winning by an equally historic 31-point margin.

This historic gap has real implications for how votes will be counted, and what results on election night will look like (some states count early voters first, while other states count early voters after completed Election Day counts).

Finally, we measured the impact that Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis has on voter preference and find that most voters don’t think it will affect their candidate choice. A full 58% of likely voters say his diagnosis will make no difference in their support. But among those who do say it will affect their vote, more think it will make them less likely to support Trump in his reelection.

With just 22 days until the election and voters already heading to the polls in Pennsylvania, time is running out for the Trump campaign to course correct and secure a win in this critical tipping point state.

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Blog Post Data

Trump vs. Fauci

Per NBC news yesterday:

The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings of the U.S. coronavirus response.

Dr. Fauci continues to enjoy higher ratings than President Trump when it comes to his trustworthiness on COVID-19, and Americans have far more confidence in Dr. Fauci in dealing with the pandemic moving forward than they do in the President.

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Blog Post Data Opinion

The Wisdom of Crowds: The Worst Is Yet To Come

Very little good news this morning.

U.S. COVID-19 cases set new daily record as the virus decimates the South & West.

And 1.5 million new unemployment claims were filed last week despite re-opening of many regions. That marks the 14th straight week with more than 1MM new jobless claims.

Our CSIP data suggests that a plurality of Americans believe the worst is yet to come regarding the virus, and a majority feel the worst is yet to come on the economy.

And they may be correct. The United States has not been able to contain the novel coronavirus even as other developed nations have.

Even more sobering – during the Great Recession unemployment in the US peaked at just under 8% – but took nearly 6 years to recover. We are currently at nearly 13% with no end to COVID-19 spikes causing ongoing disruptions to our economy in sight.

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Data Opinion

The (New) New Rules for Corporate Activism

Today on Medium, WINS President Scott Kotchko writes that the outpouring of corporate support for the George Floyd protests represents a tipping point. We’re now all living in the era of Corporate Activism.

…But the era of Corporate Activism is different. It’s no longer about telling a story about purpose because you want to — it’s about taking real action because you have to

Scott’s perspectives are grounded in a career spent at the nexus of politics and corporate brand strategy, with a little help from our CSIP data:

Our research shows that on the issue of COVID-19 there is incredibly high support (85%) for companies to re-purpose aspects of their business to contribute directly to the fight against the virus as well as to make financial donations to COVID-19 relief organizations (82%). Despite this, fewer than 1 in 5 (16%) say the company they work for has done anything meaningful from a business perspective, and just 1 in 10 (11%) say their employer donated to a pandemic relief organization.

On the issue of systemic racism, police reform, and Black Lives Matter — Americans are even more attuned towards action and activism. Americans believe it is time now to finally deal with systemic racism (75%), that it isn’t up to minority communities to educate the rest of us (64%), that black people in America need more than allies, and it is time for others to roll up their sleeves and help (75%).

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Blog Post Data Opinion

The Great Rethink

We’re entering the era of the Great Rethink.

Our initial natural response to the disruptions that have occurred during the COVID-19 era as been reactive. What will come next is different.

This era has wiped the status quo off of the face of the earth. Worldviews and ideologies that failed to hold up are being questioned.

Americans are increasingly rethinking the fundamentals of society, their own lives, and the political beliefs they hold.

The Great Rethink is about asking the bigger questions, it will define the next era, and it is taking place all around us.

The Great Rethink is not “how can I safely open up my office” it is “what is the future of work for my organization?”

The Great Rethink is not “how can I issue a generic corporate statement about something political” it is “how can we truly make a difference?”

The Great Rethink is not “how can we reduce police brutality” it is “what role should a police department play in our society and what do we need to do to go about building that?”

More to come…

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Data Media Politics

COVID-19 Era Politics: Trump Slumps With White Women Voters

Our own Matt McDermott speaking this week in the WaPo, CNN and on his blog about the impact of the past week on President Trump’s numbers.

Matt McDermott, a Democratic pollster, said such results capture the paradox in Trump’s calls for law and order: His words and actions have been so confrontational that they are “leading people to conclude the Republican President is increasing the threat of violence to themselves and their community.” Trump’s uniquely belligerent posture, McDermott says, is fraying the GOP’s traditional advantage among suburbanites on keeping their communities safe.

One GOP pollster I spoke with, who asked not to be identified while discussing the party’s 2020 prospects, agreed that Trump’s response to the protests was likely to further erode his already tenuous position among college-educated white suburbanites, especially women. That will require him, the pollster said, to generate even bigger margins and more turnout from non-college whites, especially those outside of metropolitan areas.