Comparing Audiences: Common Threads from the 2nd to 3rd GOP Debates 

Comparing Audiences: Common Threads from the 2nd to 3rd GOP Debates 

The 2nd and 3rd GOP debates, held in California and Florida, offer a snapshot of a Republican field grappling for attention. From Trump’s strategic absence in Michigan to the 3rd debate’s focus on Florida’s pivotal role, the political landscape is evolving. Resonate AI-powered data reveals shifting audience priorities, serving as a guide for political advertisers on this complex road to victory. Below we’ll compare these debates using our Resonate Engaged Audiences to dissect common threads and divergent paths, and ultimately understand the electorate’s pulse thus far in this political cycle. 

Demographic Dynamics: Age and Gender Persist 

While the 2nd and 3rd debate audiences showcased distinct demographic variations, a consistent thread was the prevalence of male viewers. In both instances, a majority of 57% and 40%, respectively, were men. Additionally, the 55-64 age group held significance in both debates, making up 32% and 40% of these audiences. 

Party Affiliation 

Although the expectation may have been that more Republicans would be engaged with these debates, Resonate data shows that both audiences displayed a fairly even split across party lines.  

Exploring Alternatives: Voters Seeking Options Beyond Trump in 2024 

Regardless of party affiliation, persuadable voters are tuning in to see what their options may be in 2024. There has been a common shared sentiment that voters are fatigued by the idea of a rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden and a significant 67% of both audiences have expressed dissatisfaction with Donald Trump’s personality.  

While Donald Trump continues to hold an intimidating lead, the overwhelming dissatisfaction with him indicates that there is still a substantial opportunity for these Republican candidates to grab up enough votes ahead of the primaries to change the game. 

Approval of Biden 

Dissatisfaction with Trump isn’t necessarily good news for Biden, though. As it turns out, the fatigue runs deep on both sides of the political aisle. The 2nd debate audience exhibited a nuanced stance towards the current President, with 41% disapproving and 59% either approving or remaining undecided. This persisted in the 3rd debate audience, where diverse concerns and ideological leanings contributed to a varied stance on Biden’s presidency. 

Top Issue Areas: 

While some sentiments changed between the 2nd and 3rd debate audiences, their top issue areas did not budge. Both have a strong interest in strengthening foreign policy & defense, developing traditional energy sources, and toughening law enforcement & prosecution and are unsurprisingly looking to support candidates who will run on these types of issues. 

Abortion Stances: 

The 2nd debate audience encompasses insights that suggest they support moderate abortion rights, including restrictions based on gestational age. Interestingly, the 3rd debate audience is more likely to support a woman’s right to an abortion, but also believes there should be a limit—specifically at the end of the first trimester. 


Perceived Threats and Excitement for 2024 

The 3rd debate audience displayed a polarized landscape, with top perceived threats encompassing partisan politics, progressive liberals, and MAGA Republicans… However, a shared excitement about the upcoming 2024 presidential election was evident in both audiences. 

Media Consumption 

A commonality emerged in the choice of media consumption platforms. Both audiences displayed a digital affinity, with laptop computers and streaming boxes being the primary devices. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of incorporating CTV advertising into your campaign strategy – and this is a clear example of how powerful it will be in this election cycle. However, it’s not good enough to just buy Connected TV advertising, as you’ll need to ensure you’re targeting the right people who will be receptive to your messaging—and we can tell you who those people are so that you can target them programmatically wherever they’re watching. 

Resonate Engaged Audiences: Insights Beyond Party Lines 

As we navigate these diverse ideological paths and shared sentiments, Resonate Engaged Audiences equips campaigns with the ability to understand their target audience at a deeper level on unique election topics or keywords online. 

The comparison of audiences from the 2nd and 3rd GOP debates unravels not only the dynamic nature of political engagement but also the evolving priorities and concerns of voters. Resonate’s depth of data empowers political advertisers to navigate the intricacies of voter sentiment with the necessary precision and insight that will be required to effectively target and reach voters to win in 2024. Interested in learning more about how Engaged Audiences can help with your 2024 targeting strategy? Schedule a consultation.

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