It’s addicting … working for CivicScience. We can launch a question across our network of publisher partners and very quickly, with research rigor, get not only a top line read of public opinion, but also dig even deeper into the who, what, when, where, why and how of it all. From a media perspective, I was curious about how the people of the United States planned on following the coverage of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, if at all. On the first night of the Republican Convention, Fox News had a big win, beating both cable and broadcast networks, while CNN came in behind them, also beating broadcast networks. Conversely, as you might expect, for night one of the Democratic National Convention, the results were greatly in favor of CNN and MSNBC.
Here’s where CivicScience research is so cool. We asked the question: “Will you be following coverage of the Democratic National Convention? (check all that apply)” and very quickly, we collected almost 2,000 responses!
Since we had also posed this same question before the start of the Republican National Convention, which had just over 2,000 responses, we can now compare the two.
While the response to the question for the Democratic National Convention showed that 43% of people intended to follow the DNC coverage, those who said they intended to follow coverage of the RNC was at 50%!
Let’s take a look at how they intend to follow coverage of the DNC:
The results for how people intend to follow the DNC may surprise you. The top answer was newspaper or online newspaper coverage at 25%, followed by live TV coverage at 21% and only 4% for streaming or using the DNC app.
In a slight contrast, those who planned to follow coverage of the RNC, were tied at 26% to follow via live TV and newspaper and online newspaper coverage, followed by a slightly higher 5% for streaming or using the RNC app.
Let’s look a little deeper into the people who intend to follow the DNC. They are more concerned about income inequality in the U.S. but less concerned about the U.S. federal deficit. They are more likely to contribute money to a political campaign or group, are more likely to read political websites and blogs, and are more likely to watch MSNBC for most of their TV news. (The ratings for day one, while won by CNN, show MSNBC in second place above Fox and all broadcast networks.) They prefer buying environmentally friendly products and driving compact cars. They tend to rent rather than own, and they live in the city. They are also more likely to try new products before other people do.
Key takeaways for the Hillary camp: she may see more success in urban areas and she should play up the “green” movement.
Now, let’s compare the DNC followers to the people who had responded that they planned to follow coverage of the RNC.
They are also more likely to contribute money to a political campaign or group, and are more likely to read political websites and blogs. These respondents are more likely to be men, parents, homeowners and religious. Something we wouldn’t necessarily expect to see, but it’s interesting: RNC followers are more likely to follow MLB and college basketball. These individuals are less concerned about income inequality in the U.S.
Key takeaways for the Trump camp: perhaps Donald and his family should attend a few major league baseball games, and due to the gender skew, it may be beneficial for him to spend more time discussing women’s issues.
Finally, here is one last notable observation … of the people who are very likely to vote in the 2016 Presidential election, 23% say they will not follow the DNC coverage and do not follow politics very closely. By comparison, of the people who are very likely to vote in the 2016 Presidential election, 33% did not plan to follow RNC coverage and they don’t follow politics closely.
I think it’s both interesting and concerning that a significant percentage of people say they will be very likely to vote in the 2016 Presidential election, but will not be watching the national conventions and don’t follow politics closely. Makes you want to go …. Hmmmmm.