Thank you all for the great feedback after last week’s email. I was particularly thrilled with the reactions from our CEOs and other C-suite friends – it’s very interesting to see the breadth of issues you think about in your roles. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to explore in future weeks, I’d love to hear your ideas.
Here are a few things we saw this week:
The NFL’s ratings woes should improve after the election. All of the sports and media pundits have been obsessed with why the NFL is seeing steep declines in viewership this year. Lately, we’ve focused more attention on understanding WHO is watching less. Where are the dips coming from? White, older, politically-conservative, Trump-supporting males, by a lot. This supports the theory that NFL ratings are being dragged down by a) the election, which is drawing these viewers elsewhere; and b) to a much lesser degree, the National Anthem protests, which offend this cohort more than others. Younger people and minorities are actually following the NFL more. We expect things to begin reverting to the norm next week.
After a very flat year, streaming music has seen a remarkable period of growth since July. The percentage of Americans over the age of 13 who listen to some form of free or paid service jumped from 47% to 53% in just a few short months. Buoyed by the emergence of Amazon Prime Music, the biggest gains have come from the free services. See for yourself (N=68,698).
We know next Tuesday is a huge, huge day. Yes, it’s National Cappuccino Day. Unfortunately for latte-lovers, Cappuccino-based drinks have dropped as the drink of choice for Americans from 27% in 2014 to 21% this year. Straight coffee is making a comeback.
As for the main event on Tuesday: No, we don’t know who’s going to win. The truth of the matter is that we (along with every other pollster) have no idea how to model the voter turnout. Large groups of people are going to vote who’ve never voted before. People who’ve voted in every election will stay home. Some people will vote in down-ballot races but skip the Presidential. If I’m Hillary Clinton, I worry about a lack of enthusiasm (and therefore turnout) among African Americans and rank-and-file labor union voters. If I’m Donald Trump, I worry about seemingly-insurmountable demographic disadvantages among women, young voters, and Hispanics. Any pollster who claims to “predict” the outcome on Tuesday will merely have their numbers, coincidentally, in the right place at the right time. We’ve never seen anything like this. I’m as curious as you are.
But we’re not completely divided on everything. We’ve been tracking public sentiment toward the dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Of people informed on the issue, 50% oppose the pipeline and support Standing Rock. 39% believe the pipeline should continue. Yes, the issue breaks hard on party lines. And no, 50-39 is by no means a landslide. But in today’s divisive environment, anytime a position hits 50%, it’s noteworthy. Sad as that may be.
Have an awesome weekend.