Expected the Unexpected in the US 2020 Presidential Election: Behavioral Science Research Poll
New Election 2020 Poll
Climate Change and the Economy Will Create Unexpected Results
by David Allison
A new kind of election poll has confirmed what traditional polls have said: immigration, healthcare and the economy are the most common issues on the minds of Americans in the lead-up to the presidential election. But a surprising new behavioral science study has a different story to tell, one that may help avoid a repeat of the misguided polling inaccuracies that shocked the nation during the 2016 presidential election.
The newly-released behavioral science data predicts climate change will edge out healthcare for a spot in the top three, and support for economic issues will come from an unexpected block of voters.
Researchers compared responses from 1850 qualified voters with a 100,000-survey database that predicts how people make decisions. This approach to polling can isolate not just what people are concerned about, and what they are will to talk about to pollsters, but what will actually influence them behind the curtain on voting day.
According to the study, Americans who have historically been the least likely to vote will unexpectedly turn out in record numbers for the upcoming election. These very infrequent voters are struggling to meet their basic needs, and are worried about their debts. Accordingly, they are extremely concerned that current economic issues may have a negative effect on their family, and they will be a significant boost on voting day for whichever candidate they perceive to be the safest economic bet. More than double selected the economy as their main issue of concern over any other issue. This fear and focus on economic issues shows up as a spike in the data analysis, enough to strongly suggest that concern around economic issues will motivate them to vote in record numbers for whichever candidate best addresses their fear.
The study also showed that those Americans who are the most likely to vote, and have historically voted in every election are on board with economic policy as being among the top three issues. However, they rank climate change or immigration as the other important issues, pushing heath care out of the top three. Interestingly. those who selected climate change are twice as likely to be undecided voters, and 17% more likely to vote, than those who selected healthcare. In other words, there is a cohort of habitual voters who can be swayed if they like what they hear a candidate saying about climate change.
The economy, immigration and healthcare may be the three most commonly discussed issues heading into the election, but according to new behavioral science data, the three issues most likely to influence voter turnout are the economy, immigration and climate change.
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David Allison is a human behavior researcher and the pioneer of values-based audience profiling known as Valuegraphics. The Valuegraphics Database is a random stratified statistically representative dataset of the population of the USA, comprised of 100,000 surveys that measure 380 values, wants, needs and expectations. Valuegraphics results have a +/- 3.5% margin of error with a 95% level of confidence. His most recent book, We Are All the Same Age Now is available on Amazon.
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