The Fickle Vote (Politics and Your Mind 22 Oct 2012)


This post continues the Politics and Your Mind thread. You can read previous entries at

NextStage Political Reader determines political outcomes based on how people are thinking when they're on monitored websitesWe’re using The NextStage Political Reader to determine how people will vote in the 2012 US Presidential election and so far we’ve learned two distinct things:

  • The voting population that we’re able to sample is incredibly fickle. We’re sure their political leanings are driven by something but what, exactly, we’re not sure.
  • The first chart, Say, usually tracks the latest national polls for the same days within the margin of error.Pretty good, we thinks, as we’re not actually asking anybody anything, just observing how visitors behave on a variety of websites, the majority of which are not political at all.

The Gender Divide

Yes, we know it's suppose to be 'Alfred E. Smith'. We wanted to see who was paying attention.We first noticed the Gender Divide in Politics and the Gender Mind 10-12 Oct 2012 (With a Touch of Debate BS and PersonaScoping at the End). That Gender Divide continues…sort of. What we noticed the day after both Obama and Romney spoke at the Annual Alfred E. Neuman Dinner was how the genders responded to Obama’s self-deprecating humor. Men tend to like self-deprecating humor, women not so much and this showed up in the numbers the following day:

Humor and the Political Mind
Humor and the Political Mind - Men will favor men who laugh at themselves, women won't

The above finding amused us as this site’s most read post is Humor.

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 be 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?

The Fickle Voter

We tracked daily visitor political leanings 19-22 Oct 2012. We’re not sure what happened over the weekend to cause the amazing Saturday Republican Surge nor the gradual climb of the Democrats (we don’t follow the news much unless we’re paid to). What we do know is that the Republican Surge corresponds to a surge in monitored visitor traffic (the % next to the days on the x-axis of the charts is the % of voting population we monitored each day). Saturday’s traffic volume was 3-9x what we monitored on the other days. If the increased traffic is the sole cause of the increased Republicanism (and recognizing we’re not necessarily monitoring the same visitors each day), this could be bad news for the Democrats.

Who Would They Say They’d Vote Right Now?
Would voters tell you they prefer Obama or Romney if you asked them right now?
But What Do They Think?
And What Are Their Hearts Telling Them?
Republican Support Seems to be Collapsing...Maybe
And In the End, Will Hearts or Minds Prevail?

A Final Word

The time for either party to strike is when voter hearts and minds are within a few points of each other. Hearts and minds with close numbers indicate voters’ higher and lower brains, conscious and non-conscious, are closely aligned. People act without thinking and without later remorse for their actions when conscious and non-conscious are aligned.

Come 6 Nov 2012, whoever synchronizes the most hearts and minds wins the election.


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.