Politics and the Gender Mind 10-12 Oct 2012 (With a Touch of Debate BS and PersonaScoping at the End)


Following up with Politics and Your Mind 9 Oct 2012 (Introducing the NextStage Political Reader), we now supply a gender-based voter breakdown…

A Quick Read of the Charts

  • Say – What people would tell you in conversation. These numbers should be closest to national polls.
  • Think – Which party do people think will do better. This may or may not who people would vote for or who they want to win, only who they think will do better.
  • Hearts – This is the number that most closely responds to the outcome of a secret ballot if held today.
  • End – If people could be magically transported to their real voting venue and knew for a fact that their vote would actually make a difference, how would they vote?

What I’ll share today is probably why day by day evaluations are meaningless from an eventual outcome perspective while incredibly fascinating from a socio-political perspective.

What Changed Their Minds So Rapidly

The image below indicates an incredible shift in male voting patterns in a 24hr period.

Male voting change from 10-11 Oct 2012

Likewise, the following image indicates a similar shift among female voters in the same 24hr period.

Female voting change from 10-11 Oct 2012

What happened in 24hrs to cause that kind of shift? There may have been something from a news standpoint. NextStageologists spent a few hours looking at it and realized it was a shift in “who” was analyzed.

Or more correctly, how many of who was analyzed.

It’s All in the Numbers

The 10 Oct 2012 analysis involved 3,658,758 men (1.21% of all voters) and 931,852 females (0.31% of all voters). The 11 Oct 2012 analysis involved 124,916 men (0.04% of all voters) and 1,114,259 female (0.37% of all voters).

Of perhaps greater interest is that the 10 Oct 2012 results are from sites covering 19-75 year olds while the 11 Oct 2012 results sampled sites catering to 54-75 year olds. Evidently younger men and mature women favor the Democrats, older men and younger women favor the Republicans.

First, the 11 Oct 2012 sample is about 1/4 the size of the 10 Oct 2012 sample. Also, the 10 Oct 2012 sample was 3:1 male:female weighted, the 11 Oct 2012 sample was almost 10:1 female:male weighted.

And After the Biden-Ryan Debate…

Today, 12 Oct 2012, we did another run of the NextStage Political Reader and it seems all bets are off and the Democrats need to do some serious rethinking if they plan to win the election. Analyzing 1,708,074 visitors (0.57% of the voter population) we get the results below.

How Would They Say They’d Vote Right Now?
Men and Women Voting after the Biden-Ryan Debate

Again, the devil’s in the details. The above is primarily for a 12 hour stretch post debate, hence overnight traffic. Evidently Republican males don’t sleep much.

About that BS thing

There was much discussion of how well Romney did in the first Obama-Romney debate. Some of that might have been due to how much BS (BlueSky, a measure of how believable a person was) the audience detected in both candidates. Pretty much all their values were equal with the exception of BlueSky where the Democrats came off as less believable than the Republicans:

How Much BS Was There?
How Much BS Was There in the Debates?

Was Anybody Really Talking to the People?

The last question answered in this post is one of personal curiosity. I’ve always wondered (and several readers have contacted me with similar questions) if politicians talk more to each other or if they really talk to the voters.

Fortunately NextStage’s PersonaScope and SampleMatch tools can answer such questions via “{C,B/e,M}”s. {C,B/e,M}s are a shorthand for how people think, behave and what motivates them. Ever meet someone you just didn’t get along with? Chances are your {C,B/e,M} conflicted with the other person’s. Ever meet someone you hit it off with immediately? Chances are the two of you had highly complimentary {C,B/e,M}s. You can find out more about {C,B/e,M}s at Looking for Love? Now You Can Find All the Right Places! (On the Evolution of Tools)

Obama was communicating using a K13 {C,B/e,M} while Romney, Biden and Ryan all used a V13 {C,B/e,M}. While neither K13 nor V13 is a dominant communication form in the United States, V13 is closer to how the majority of US citizens talk to each other than K13 by 22%. This could be another reason for the Romney Resurgence.

Bolton Bluntness

John Bolton for President. For the run-of-the-mill conservative, such a concept is interesting — almost startling. What is also interesting, but not startling, are the results of the NSE analysis of the interview with Bolton. These results are very much in line with the public persona of Bolton as he has presented himself for some years, now.

The fact that he has a very low BS factor would suggest he’d had a chance to prepare responses for the interview ahead of time, but having seen quite a few interviews with him through the years, I doubt it was necessary. Bolton has always displayed the trained, practiced diplomat’s control of language to choose the precise word to convey the precise meaning for the precise situation. The biggest difference is he is always very fluid with the language, never slowing down the sentence to be sure of selecting each word properly. Some of the less precise formulations of the interviewer suggest this is a transcription of a real, off-the-cuff back and forth interview, and I would be surprised to learn otherwise.

While his might not inspire media venom like a Palin candidacy would, Bolton does not have a reputation for being a smooth politician. His appointment as UN ambassador was a recess appointment, a foreshadowing of the bloody battle he would face against livid liberals. And his reputation among some coworkers at the State Department was that of an “abrasive” character. (Some might find that a sterling recommendation, actually, in that environment).

The abrasiveness among fellow diplomats and his performance as UN ambassador, not to mention his public pronouncements since then, show his focus is clearly on the foreign policy challenges the country faces, not on going along to get along. And this fits well with the “vision” measures where his vision for the country has a much stronger reading than his vision for himself. And given his feisty, sometimes contrarian positions, even while in office, it’s also no surprise he gets relatively low ratings in the “man of the people” category, compared to some of the more experienced elected officials who may run.

Bolton is a realist, and I feel confident he does not expect a sudden movement to draft him into the candidacy. And Nolte, the interviewer, is an astute analyst and also sees little prospect of such an event. I suspect any dancing around that shows up in the Compatibility Gauge has to do with Bolton’s well-known bluntness. A blunt, unpredictable respondent is always a terrifying prospect in an interview.

Aside from what the Political Analyzer Tool shows, I suspect Bolton’s coming out publicly has more to do with wanting to put pressure on the field to keep foreign policy relevant in the 2012 elections, and perhaps a bit of wistful longing to work with a successful candidate to finish what he did not get a chance to finish while Bush was in office.

Senator Grassley’s Age Old Issues

NextStage: Predictive Intelligence, Persuasion Engineering, Interactive Analytics and Behavioral MetricsOne of the modern perceptions of political life is that the first thing you start doing after winning an election is start campaigning for the next election.  Rather than looking at web sites for candidates for office in the coming two years, I was curious to see what the web sites of recently elected candidates showed.  The first site I viewed was Kelly Ayotte’s Senator Ayotte, U.S. Senator for New Hampshire.  Senator Ayotte has not yet been in her office for 100 days and the Spartan appearance of her site seems to reflect it.  So I went to the other side of the spectrum.

Senator Charles Grassley was elected to the Senate in 1980 and his 2010 election, in which he garnered 63% of the vote to 33% for the Democratic nominee, was his closest election as an incumbent. For all intent and purposes, Senator Grassley appears to be entrenched and, as such, is seems to have no concern about speaking his mind.  In 2009, Senator Grassley suggested AIG management that collected bonuses off Federal bailout money should “follow the Japanese model” and resign immediately or commit suicide.  And perusing his Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa site, you’ll find a large number of defined changes he is seeking to make with his post in the Senate.  There is plenty to disagree with depending on your leanings, but it provides legitimate issues to discuss instead of arguing which party likes children, families, small businesses, and the middle class more.  It also demonstrates that those politicians who are not at risk of losing of losing their political seat or chasing a greater one are more likely to speak their mind.

The web page though is a bit bland.  Rather than analyze the page, we analyzed one of Senator Grassley’s e-newsletters (links to which can be found on his web site) Senator Grassley eNewsletterNextStage’s Political Analyzer has this to say about the page: Senator Grassley’s “The Scoop” Newsletter Analyzed 8 Mar 11 2:30pmET.

Go ahead.  Take a look.  I’ll wait …

I was disappointed by the age demographic.  So I went back and looked at the e-newsletter to try to determine what Senator Grassley could do to target a broader audience.  The format of the e-newsletter is that of front-page headlines, but the opening sentences are 30 words, 16 words, 27 words, 13 words, 21 words, 24 words, and 26 words.  The average word is about 5.25 characters long.  Compare that to Mitch Daniel’s 2011 CPAC speech that ran 19 words/sentence and averaged 4.75 characters/word.  Mitch Daniel’s speech also targeted a younger and broader audience.  Certainly, these are not magic numbers, but it appears those who author Senator Grassley’s pieces need to simplify their statements to reach a younger, broader audience.

There is also some jargon in these sentences.  I know that Senator Grassley has long been known for his support of ethanol and ethanol subsidies, but I don’t know that biofuel and biodiesel have entered the common vernacular (perhaps they have in Iowa).  He also used TARP for Troubled Asset Relief Program and Special IG for Special Inspector General.  These terms and abbreviations may be necessary for Senator Grassley to convey his point, but particularly for a newsletter front page that is going to be light on substance out of necessity, the language should be quickly and easily digested.  Avoiding specialized jargon and industry abbreviations increases the likelihood a reader will process the headline and first statement and click through to read more.  Utilizing specialized jargon and industry abbreviations sends the signal that this content is not for me, it is for someone specialized and familiar with the industry.  I would encourage the authors of this newsletter to drill down the topics, avoid abbreviations and specialized language, keep these headline sentences to 12-15 words/sentence.  These changes will encourage more readers to read the articles and, I’d like to think, create more of an opportunity for worthwhile political discussion.