National Politics - 2016

“First In The South” Polling: Looking Beyond Donald Trump’s Big Lead

HOW THE DISENFRANCHISED CONSERVATIVE ELECTORATE IS SHAPING UP IN EARLY-VOTING SOUTH CAROLINA There’s a huge buzz in political circles regarding “microtargeting,” or the use of data to identify, persuade and (hopefully) turn out voters on election day.  Does it work?  Yes.  Television commercials are now targeted to specific households – and email and direct mail…


There’s a huge buzz in political circles regarding “microtargeting,” or the use of data to identify, persuade and (hopefully) turn out voters on election day.  Does it work?  Yes.  Television commercials are now targeted to specific households – and email and direct mail solicitations crafted to individuals subscribing to very precise issues subsets (or combinations of subsets).

Campaigns no longer craft broad messages hoping to appeal generically to “conservatives” or “liberals.”  Nor do they rely exclusively on the voter lists provided by political parties or election agencies to disseminate their messages.  Instead, they pinpoint tailored communications to specific subsets of the voting age population – hoping to either expand (or suppress) the electorate via these “microtargeted” communications.

Sound scientific?  It is.  Very much so.  In fact the most important question asked of a modern political campaign isn’t “who is running your race?” or “who is handling your advertising?”  It’s “who is doing your data?”

Of course the incredible advances we’ve seen in voter science in recent years would be meaningless were it not for practitioners who knew which questions to ask – and knew which theories to plug into the “Big Data.”

One such practitioner?  Erin Norman – whose work we’ve featured previously on this site.  Norman has a new study published by Market Research Foundation – a group whose work was recently featured by nationally syndicated columnist George Will.

Last month, Norman conducted a poll for Market Research Foundation in early-voting South Carolina seeking to glean additional information on disenfranchised conservative “leaners.”  The poll looked at two groups: Voters who were modeled to be Republicans – yet didn’t vote in either the 2008 or 2012 presidential primary election – and voters of any ideological persuasion who cast ballots in either the 2008 or 2012 GOP presidential primary (but not in both races).

The first group obviously represents “solid gold real estate” in the upcoming 2016 presidential primary election in South Carolina – while the second group represents untapped potential.

“Campaigns best able to target the first universe – while identifying common themes running across both universes – stand the best chance of not only winning this important primary bellwether, but also of turning out similarly modeled voters in crucial swing states in the 2016 general election,” a Market Research Foundation analysis of the polling noted.

So … which candidate is doing that?  Donald Trump.

“Among both segments identified for this research, Trump is the clear GOP presidential primary frontrunner,” Norman said.  “His support intensifies when the audience is narrowed to likely primary voters and those who say they intensely support their chosen candidate.”

Among the two groups Norman and MRF researched, Trump received the support of 34 percent of respondents – well ahead of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (13 percent), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (12 percent), former Florida governor Jeb Bush (10 percent) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (6 percent).

That’s consistent with mainstream media polling of all “likely GOP primary voters” – but in light of the specific audiences polled in this survey, it shows Trump could actually expand his lead by outperforming his rivals among a broadened electoral universe.

In other words, “The Donald” could be enjoying an even bigger lead than the mainstream media polls would suggest.

Buttressing this contention are positive perceptions of Trump which cut across other candidates’ networks of support.

For example, 62 percent of Rubio supporters and 55 percent of Carson supporters said they believe Trump is “willing to speak the truth other politicians avoid.”  Only a majority of Jeb Bush supporters said they felt differently – with 60 percent of them describing Trump as a “loose cannon and not a serious contender.”

The perception of Trump as an unapologetic truth-teller could wind up being a major driver of turnout, too, as these two universes listed it as the item “most likely” to make them “go out on Election Day and support a candidate.”

“Having candidates who are willing to speaking in a direct, forthright manner is the best way to drive turnout at the polls,” Norman concluded.  “Sharing views with candidates on foreign policy is also important – and sharing views on immigration is especially important to Trump supporters.”

Very interesting …

We’ll keep an eye on future MRF polling in South Carolina as they’ve had done some very interesting, very insightful Palmetto State surveys in recent years.



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Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

Now that’s good stuff. Analytics based, supported by real data. If only people would understand that it’s the analytics that drive the game. That said, 35% of 27% is still 10%. But if he does that well with independents, he’d break 23% nationally and could challange Perot’s performance as an indipendent.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 10:19 am

Oh, Will, did you see these analytics:

In December, healthcare employment rose by 39,000, averaging 40,000 per month last year, up from 26,000 in 2014.

Construction showed strong job growth for the third consecutive month, gaining 45,000 jobs in December.

Manufacturing added 8,000 jobs in a year when the sector struggled with the rising value of the dollar, making U.S. exports more expensive abroad.

Ed January 8, 2016 at 10:26 am

Trump will be the next President… much to the dismay of the National Media and the political establishment. In fact, he will likely destroy Hillary in the General as her condescending and bitchy tone will be no match for the “truth missile” that he will launch at the political class.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 10:31 am

Ed, re-read the article. Then realize analytics – and that it’s a reflection of a group that represents just 27% of the total population. In other words, he can’t get over 30% nationally.

Ed January 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

Uh OK… Regardless of what data may be showing NOW, I predict that a surprisingly high number of traditional, non-Republicans are going to also vote for him in the General. As a populist, he has put together an absolutely brilliant campaign strategy that has marginalized the super minorities (Muslims, etc.) in this nation in an effort to gain much larger votes. In the coming months, after he has won the GOP Primary, watch for a shift toward economic ads directed toward blacks to stir their angst at job losses to illegal immigration, pro-Hispanic ads from long standing American citizens who love their Hispanic heritage but who resent illegal immigration and a loss of security to Muslims, and Asian ads emphasizing their positive contributions to this nation. In fact, about the only ads you’ll not see for the General from him will be those directed toward liberal white elites. Again, get used to saying President Trump.

Paris, Germany January 8, 2016 at 10:54 am

Yeah, those people are smart and see right through Trump and his buffoonery. Just like a majority of America. Maybe SC should elect him President of the State? I’m sure you could easily convince his dim witted followers that is an actual position.

Ed January 8, 2016 at 11:08 am

Please, continue to insult his supporters, as it truly is the oxygen he’ll need for his political “burn”…..

Paris, Germany January 8, 2016 at 11:49 am

OK. There’s nothing more amusing than a Trump supporter who thinks they are smart.
They type paragraphs trying to explain how he’s going to win, when in reality there are as many people who say they will vote for Trump as there are people who think the Moon Landings are a hoax. Probably many of the same people in that group. Dumb, racist, silly conspiracy believing misinformed lemmings, who think a grown ass man who talks about prefering aerosol hairspray over pump hairspray. How in the hell could he handle being President if he can’t even manage not looking like an orange turd with a hairball stuck to it?

ImpaledNazarene January 8, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Hahaha. I bet you’re a Bernie Sanders cultist.
Taking cheap shots at Trump’s supporters just so you can spread socialism. Hilarious! XD

erneba January 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Yeah, it always helps to personally demean the opposition to make your political point.
They can’t defend the current administration or Democrat candidates, but they can play the schoolyard game of name-calling.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm

In order for a successor candidate to have better than even chances of winning, the sitting president must have an approval rating of above 55 percent. Because Barack Obama’s average approval rating is now at 45 percent, a successor candidate (i.e. Democrat) is unlikely to win.

Obama destroyed the Democrat Party.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Obama has ruined the Democratic chances for a generation. They are in deep trouble. They are on the verge of being a national minority party.

And I love every second of it! We need to finish the job in 2016. Give the GOP filibuster proof majorities in each chamber and a GOP President.

Everybody January 8, 2016 at 4:17 pm

pogo, why do you bother creating new profiles on a daily basis!
You say the exact same dumb shit anyways.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Wow!!! Guessing Everybody ain’t a fan. Says a lot.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Polls are actually understating Trump’s strength. There have been well-documented cases in the past where voters were embarrassed to tell pollsters they were supporting a candidate but still voted for him on Election Day. Jesse Helms was left for dead more than once by pollsters and won anyway.

Loser January 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Hey, GrandTango! You overestimated the number of people who might want to check out your failed blog, so you and judging estimates isn’t to be trusted.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Shazam!!!!! Jethro gonna be tryin to figure that one out for a few days.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

I was thinking last night who Trump reminds me of and I finally figured it out. He’s the Happy Gilmore of the GOP. Cruz / Rubio / Bush are trying to be Shooter McGavin. Preibus of the RNC is that weird guy that tries to knock Happy out of the tour championship. Carson is Chubs.

Massage the truth January 8, 2016 at 12:01 pm

This is why he is still at the top, despite his unfiltered, “…stop Muslim immigration until our Representatives can figure it out…”

Unprecedented harassment in Helsinki…

Attacks in Sweden…

Gang rapes in Germany…


Pepper Spray Flying Off Shelves…

Trump is not as tone deaf, and he has unfortunately been right on the money.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:06 pm

OK, you’re the caddie.

jimlewisowb January 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

“…LOOKING BEYOND DONALD TRUMP…” and you will see Nikki Haley sitting on the Curb

fed up Republican January 8, 2016 at 11:23 am

Let us HOPE and all ALONE!

Oops! January 8, 2016 at 11:38 am

Nah, she’ll be in travelling the country representing the GOP.
Might even be running as VP. Good thing you guys elected her twice.

Clarence Boddicker January 8, 2016 at 11:28 am

Screw the numbers. People are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore! Plus there is no downside to him, the country is already fucking Brazil.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Ever been to Brazil? It’s really nice. The chicks are smokin’ hot, and the standard of living is approaching first world.

Dabotard's Family Reunion January 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm

You are so full of shit.One of the most dangerous places in the world.The water is so radioactive and toxic they don’t know how they are going to hold some of the Olympic events in 2016.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Yeah, cause you haven’t left SC in twenty years.

James P. January 8, 2016 at 12:50 pm

Dude, seriously??? 95% of Brazil is an absolute dump. Every country has hot chicks of one fashion or another.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Rocky and Boz always talk about hot chicks as a cover for their preferred sexual preference.
Be careful of those that ‘protesteth too much’ if you know what I mean.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Was funny, Jethroe couldn’t even figure out how the parts fit to meet Miss Hathoway’s needs.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Not true. Rio, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, most of Rio Dol Sol, are very well developed. Now to the north, it’s a less developed, but for the most part, not even close to some of the crap holes in Hampton and Barnwell areas.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm

You run this country down yet bring your NON citizen entourage over here and have the taxpayers pay for their Obamacare. Sad.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm

You still shagging Granny in the see-ment pond? God your sick.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 4:33 pm

We’re citizens and true Americans, unlike yourself. You sir, are just lying dog crap.

Clarence Boddicker January 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm

You can have the mutt wymynz, the third world crime, and degeneracy. I’ll take beautiful white women and christian western civilization all day and twice on Tuesday.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm

LMAO!!!You must know the Verdad family! Oh my!!!!

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Did you’re kids dentures arrive in the Fed Ex truck yet?

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

You realize Brazil is western and Christian right? And the women are white.

Mike at the Beach January 8, 2016 at 11:44 pm

That’s only true in certain pockets of major cities – most parts (and I mean most, like, 85%) of Brasil are genuinely dangerous and/or shitty places to live.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Democrats have been getting their asses kicked pretty bad .. After seven years in office and as many elections, the Democratic Party has taken a beating worse than the Republican Party took under George W. Bush.

On nearly every level of government, Democrats have lost more seats under Mr. Obama than under any other two-term modern president dating back to Dwight Eisenhower. (This includes the dual presidencies of John F. Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford.)

Under Mr. Obama, Democrats have lost 13 net Senate seats, 69 House seats, 11 governorships, a whopping 913 state legislature seats and 30 state legislature chambers, according to analysis from the Washington Post.

Obama destroyed the Democrat Party.

Colonel Mustard January 8, 2016 at 11:37 am

Libertarians typically win straw polls and don’t get shit in the real election.
Same stuff here. Trump puts on a fun show, but when actual ballots are cast, his name won’t be circled.

So confused January 8, 2016 at 11:41 am

FitsNews is a real deal Libertarian blog.
That’s why he supports a liberal, Billionaire, lackluster businessman who has been bailed out by the government for President. Those are solid Libertarian credentials….about as solid as Ayn herself.

idiotwind January 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

recently traveled outside US. people asked me “what the fuck is this trump thing?” i told em its all media hype and the guy will probably only win one primary. the one he wins will be south carolina of course, cause this is where stupid lives.

James P. January 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Wow, how original. There’s one of you idiots saying this same stupid shit every time Trump’s name comes up. I can’t wait until you get ur ass kicked.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Sure is enjoyable today.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Lying to yourself?

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Ooops. Day’s ruined now.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

You can’t ruin mine.Wife and I picked up a new dog today-Trixie Marie-a ‘shorkie’.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:55 pm

You go out and pick up dogs. God your sick.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm

lol…better than what you do in your da???….never mind…hey don’t you 3rd world American hating low lifes eat dogs?

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 1:36 pm

Fuck yourself. Isn’t it wrong to steal news articles from the Chronicle and put them on a website.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Tsk Tsk…Rocky be mad….LMAO!!!!

ImpaledNazarene January 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Rocky Verdad is just some piece of shit socialist.
Laughing at his existence is the best time spent.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Dumb shit as long as you keep thinking I am the brilliant Grand Tango you will always be like Wiley Coyote chasing the Roadrunner.

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Why would you think I’m talking about Tango?

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Ah – forget it.

ImpaledNazarene January 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Oh look. A stupid socialist’s poor attempt at making a joke. How quaint.

erneba January 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Hillary Clinton’s dishonesty contrasted against Trump’s propensity for “telling it like it is” should make for some interesting political commercials when the general election rolls around.
First, he has to get through the primaries, which is beginning to look more likely as time passes. Targeting all these micro-groups has to be an expensive proposition, but in this day of databases and instant communication, breaking the electorate down into specific groups and then communicating your specific message to certain groups is certainly possible.

Dump Trump January 8, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Trump lies constantly. He said he had never met Samuel L Jackson and it was called out as a complete lie. If he’ll lie about little things like that, he’ll lie about everything. Plus, he blatantly cheats on the golf course. He’s dishonest as they come.

erneba January 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Just out of curiosity, who do you think is more honest, Hillary or Trump?

Mike at the Beach January 8, 2016 at 11:37 pm

Excellent question, although that’s a tallest-midget-in-the-circus query if there ever was one!

erneba January 9, 2016 at 8:32 am

Thanks, it was a rhetorical question.
If Dump Trump is a Hillary supporter, he needs someone to compare with Trump. Actually, Trump is a choir boy compared to some of Hillary’s actions and statements.

erneba January 9, 2016 at 9:06 am

Another way of looking at that is the severity of the lying. Hillary could possibly be indicted for criminal prosecution because of security concerns associated with the mishandling of classified documents. I doubt that Trump goes to jail for cheating at golf.

Jethroe Bodine Verdad January 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Everybody have a great weekend!

Rocky Verdad January 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Get the clap!!!

9" January 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm

I smell,chlamydia !


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