Tag Archives: election

The Train Wreck Reason Trump And Sanders Are So Insanely Popular

Smoky train crash with Sanders and Trump floating in smoke

 

As the political primaries heat up, little doubt exists on the public’s captivation with presidential candidates Donald Trump (Republican) and Bernie Sanders (Democrat). Trump has kindled a feverish right-wing populism never seen before in this nation, while Sanders “berns” the passion of millennials and staunch progressives. Although both individuals are galaxies apart in their ideology, a major reason for their attention is shared in a quality as American as apple pie:

The love for the outlaw and antihero.

How could this be? After all, the two candidates are as establishment as one can get. Trump is a seasoned businessperson entrenched in extroverted capitalism; Sanders is a senator with decades of political experience in Washington DC. Perception is reality, though, and the reality is that the two men have carefully marketed themselves as unadulterated outsiders. It makes sense. According to Gallup, 65% of Americans are dissatisfied with the government—the highest rate ever polled.

However, simply branding oneself as antiestablishment would make a Tea Party darling like Ted Cruz a shoe in for the Republican candidacy. The same could be said for any Libertarian/Green candidate out there. That hasn’t happened.

It has to be more than the current bad political mood of voters, then. Trump and Sanders aren’t just perceived as foreigners to politics as usual, but outlaws and antiheroes in all their romance, as will be demonstrated.

 

What do you mean by outlaws and antiheroes?

 

 

By outlaw, I don’t mean a criminal—but certainly an individual that stands on the fringes of societal norms, near the borders of amoral deserts. America was founded on gritty pioneers and explorers, wily figures that forged their way to new frontiers at any cost, legal or illegal. In the bestselling book, Everyone Loves a Train Wreck, Eric Wilson describes our infatuation for the outlaw:

Think of our vexed cultural relationship to the cowboy. We might disapprove of his lawless gun slinging and Indian killing, but we laud his indifference to the East Coast status quo and his fearless trekking into the Western wilds.

The outlaw, in all of his or her dangerous curiosity and individualism, is just an archetype that Americans relate to, even if they don’t consciously embrace. Furthermore, knowing that the outlaw’s ending will likely be memorable (but perhaps not positive) arrests our attention…like stopping to see a train wreck. Edward Snowden or your classic country music protagonist are two obvious American examples. This reminds me of a quote by Tom Robbins, “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules.”

Then there is the antihero. Medical Daily defines the antihero as “Someone who straddles the line between deviant morality and a justified cause, reminding us of the flaws inherent in our own behavior.”

The attraction is easy to see: We simultaneously escape and test our moral principles through the narrative of the antihero. It’s cathartic and educational at the same time. We project our darkest desires onto the antihero in order to reflect upon them. We love their shooting from the hip, their bravado, and their continual emigration from constricting community constructs. As illustrations, one just has to think of Walter White in Breaking Bad or Don Draper in Mad Men.

 

But does all of this apply to Trump and Sanders?

 

 

With Trump, it seems obvious. His career has been one of taming cattle in the Wild West that is the real estate world and verbal gun fighting in corporate boardrooms. His policies tap into the dark corners of many voters’ psyches: the concern with immigration, the fear of terrorism, the seemingly dusk of an empire. Thus, in a deeply symbolical way, Trump is both an outlaw and antihero. His political incorrectness is liberating for many in a social media inquisition climate, while his policies are purgative to others.

What about Sanders? How can an affable, patriotic and polite senior citizen fall outside the rubric of the mainstream? Ironically, an anti-American quality makes him so American in his outlaw and antihero characteristics: socialism. Sanders heavily leans towards socialistic policies; and according to a Gallup poll socialism is the least popular quality of any political candidate (50% of voters say they would not vote for a socialist). That makes him an outlaw of sorts, an antihero to the American consciousness—and of course attractive to younger, more rebellious demographics.

Also, Sanders’ message and persona harken to some of the classic fringe elements of recent American history: the hippie, the beatnik, the pacifist. He is an individual who also wants to bring more European elements to government (importing Danish economics, for example), just as the original explorers brought European elements to North America. Despite his calm reputation, Sanders, like Trump, is notorious for shouting down those who confront him publicly (even constituents). Lastly, his campaign has made a huge effort in leveraging perhaps the most lawless and perilous frontier today: the internet.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Machiavelli famously mused on whether an individual benefited more from being loved or hated. In these short-attention-span, information-overload times, I would say that fascination is the ultimate benefit. Fascination earns zealous attention without needing the soul-commitment of either love or hate. Trump and Sanders are swimming in oceans of fascination, partly because of the uniting streams of American folklore and psychology. This means that many enthusiasts assume their candidacies will end in a train wreck, with more establishment candidates taking the party nominations.

Regardless, the outlaw and antihero motifs have served Trump and Sanders well. They served past candidates such as Obama or Reagan, both who early in their candidacies branded themselves as outsiders ready to gun duel established government systems. Neither Obama nor Reagan was as radical as Trump or Sanders, mind you. Yet these are radical times when a restless electorate seeks more for a gun-slinging attitude than an apple pie mentality.

 

qSample VOTER PANEL

 

Online Political Polls Catching On?

As Americans’ modes of communication are continually changing, the techniques/methods that produce the most accurate polls are changing as well. At qSample, we have to stay on top of the latest political polling techniques in order to get the most accurate results when election season comes around, which is just around the corner

 

In 2012’s presidential election, a number of polling firms that conduct their surveys online had solid results. But others, especially those that relied exclusively on calling land lines, performed very poorly, showing a more Republican-leaning electorate than actually turned out.

 

Up until the 2012 election, the most renowned political polling companies had not adopted online polling. Notably Gallup, which had been known as the gold standard of the industry for the past three decades. According to the New York Times, some of the most accurate firms were those that conducted their polls online, citing internet polling companies like Google Consumer Surveys, Ipsos, Angus Reid Public Opinion and YouGov for producing surveys whose results held up after the election.

voting

Despite stellar results, polling standards, adopted by most all notable media outlets, still do not permit reporting of online polls because it is still estimated that one in five people in America still do not have access to the internet. New York Times policy states, “In order to be worthy of publication in The Times, a survey must be representative, that is, based on a random sample of respondents. Any survey that relies on the ability and/or availability of respondents to access the internet and choose whether to participate is not representative and therefore not reliable.”

 

Online polls differ from telephone surveys in some fundamental ways. Respondents to Internet polls complete the surveys using their computer, mobile device or smartphone.

Within the field of online polling, there are important differences in the way respondents are selected. This is known as sampling.

 

Phone polling holds as one of its founding principles the idea of probability sampling; for the universe that is being surveyed, each member has a defined and equal likelihood of being selected to participate in the survey.

 

When almost every American lived in a household with a landline phone, it was easy to design a representative sampling frame for a basic political survey. Presently, a dual-frame sample, combining landline and cell phones, is considered by phone pollsters to be closest to a true probability sample.

Internet polls, in most cases, use nonprobability sampling. They exclude households without Internet access; these demographics tend to be older and lower-income Americans. Most online polls are also completed by people who choose to participate. Some participants sign up to complete online polls on websites that offer prizes such as gift cards to chain restaurants and movie theaters, giveaways, etc. Others are responding to ads placed on other websites that may or may not be related to the poll’s subject, a technique known as river sampling.

A few news organizations did begin to experiment with Internet polling during the 2012 cycle. CBS News used online methods, partnering with YouGov. But CBS also conducted national live-caller telephone polls, and they partnered with Quinnipiac University for the battleground-state polls. It will be interesting to see if pollsters will begin using more online samples with the results the 2012 election had.

 

###

 

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to the likely voter panel, qSample cultivates other high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include:
Mobile Users, Gamers, Doctors, Contractors, Home Owners, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.

You can find more information by clicking on the panels tab above, or contact qSample here

 

Voters Blame GOP for Government Shutdown

Who’s to blame for the government shutdown of 2013? Depends who you ask.

In late September 2013, the House voted to make funding the government contingent on a one-year delay of the Obamacare healthcare reforms. Consequently, from October 1, 2013, the start of the government’s new fiscal year, to October 17, 2013, the U.S. government was shut down, placing hundreds of thousands of federal workers on unpaid leave. Select essential services remained open for public safety.

In an age of bipartisan politics, when uncompromising parties reach an apparent stalemate, the inevitable blame game ensues. But, we aren’t just a nation of Democratic and Republican citizens, who support our respective party no matter what. Despite the simplistic picture the media often paints, we are a bit more complex than Democrats supporting Democratic Party decisions and Republicans supporting Republican Party decisions; although, party loyalty is part of the story too.

qSample tapped into both its general consumer panel, SurveyGIANTS and its likely voter panel, VoterFeedback. Half of likely voter participants (50%) believe the Republicans are solely to blame for the government shutdown, while just 30% of the general population respondents blame House Republicans only. Thirty percent of likely voter respondents blame both parties and 45% of general population respondents say both are at fault.

govtshutdown1a

Both groups surveyed exhibited some apparent party allegiance with Democratic respondents being the most likely group to blame House Republicans solely. Fifty-three percent of the Democratic general population respondents and 81% of Democratic likely voter respondents blame just the House Republicans for the government shutdown.

On the other hand, Republicans from both groups surveyed were most likely to blame both the House and Senate for the shutdown, with 54% of Republicans from the general population group and 46% of Republicans from the likely voter group blaming both parties.

Where do Independents fall in his debate? Forty-eight percent of Independents from the general population group blame both parties, while 35% blame just the Republicans. The numbers are reversed when we look a Independents’ responses from the VoterFeedback group. Forty-eight percent blame Republicans only and 34% blame both parties.

govtshutdown2a

Where do these same groups of people stand on Obamacare? The majority of both the general population respondents (68%) and likely voter respondents (62%) are in favor or neutral towards Obamacare, with 26% and 35% opposed respectively.

Both groups feel effected in some way by the government shutdown with 34% of the general population respondents and 29% of the likely voter respondents saying that the shutdown affects them either personally or financially or both. Another 24% and 37% respectively say that the shutdown affects either their friends or family.

Whether a citizen is directly affected by the shutdown or feels empathy towards those going without pay or concern over the political system, economy or healthcare reform, the 2013 shutdown touched people in a lot of different ways. Voters will likely remember these events come election time, and the shutdown may even affect the outcome of some elections.

VoterFeedback is an online community of likely voters who have agreed to participate in various roundtable discussions on both national and local issues. To learn more about qSample’s VoterFeedback panel, visit voterfeedback.com.

Double_Info_Gov_Shutdown2

by Stacy Sherwood

Louisiana Statewide Survey

qSample’s pulse report is a collection of short research studies conducted each month, using one of the ten specialty panels currently owned and managed by qSample. We believe the survey results from these studies are of interest and we want to share them with you. The reports will be presented in an infographic, depicting research results on various topics. The monthly infographics will always reflect current events and topics of interest.

This past month, we tapped our Likely Voter panel to gauge Louisiana residents’ attitudes towards topics that affect them. The survey was deployed to our Louisiana Panel.

la

by Rudly Raphael

Florida Survey Report: Gun Control

qSample’s pulse report is a collection of short research studies conducted each month, using one of the ten specialty panels currently owned and managed by qSample. We believe the survey results from these studies are of interest and we want to share them with you. The reports will be presented in an infographic, depicting research results on various topics. The monthly infographics will always reflect current events and topics of interest.

This past month, we tapped our Likely Voter panel to gauge their perception and attitude toward the much controversial Gun Control issue. The survey was deployed to our Florida Panel with more than 400 respondents who completed the survey. The data was collected during the first week of March.

gun control

by Rudly Raphael

Online Poll: Debate Has Little Impact on Florida Voters

Only three percent of survey participants believe the October 22 showdown changed how they will vote on November 6th, according to a survey conducted with Florida Voter’s Voice, an online research panel of likely voters developed and managed by qSample.

This unique survey was deployed immediately after the debate and indicates the state’s voters are skewing towards Barack Obama, but with 23% still undecided.

debate

Of note – 64% of panel participants indicated the foreign policy topics debated are important to them in this election. When asked whom they think won the debate, 52% choose President Obama versus 31% for Governor Romney. Also, 42% of respondents confirmed that they consider themselves a Democrat versus 35% of the survey population that declared themselves Republican.

In fact, 99% of voters who consider themselves “strong” Democrats believe Obama won the debate last night and 72% of “strong” Republicans considered Romney the winner.
These party affiliation numbers are not as tight as those forecasted in the nation-wide presidential race, but it confirms how influential the Independent voters are in this key campaign state.

Florida has 29 electoral-college votes to be won, and when asking these Independent voters who won Monday night’s debate, 55% gave the nod to Obama, while 30% sided with Romney and 15% called it a draw.

Florida Voter’s Voice participants are highly committed to this election, with 98% of respondents planning to vote in next month’s election and the remaining 2% indicating they had voted early. Other majority characteristics of this survey include: 70 % of the respondents are Caucasian, 93% are over 35 years old and gender evenly represented.

Florida Voter’s Voice is part of VoterFeedback.com – a robust online panel of likely voters nationwide, developed by qsample. For firms that are in need of a quality sample of likely voters, VoterFeedback provides access to millions of respondents who are highly profiled and recruited to participate in a variety of research initiatives.

by Rudly Raphael