The next GOP presidential debate is Wednesday. It will be the third of almost a dozen in 2015 and 2016. There has been endless talk about the effect of debates: who wins and loses, whose poll numbers will go up the most afterward, how big are the TV ratings, etc.
But here’s something to consider: What kind of people actually think the debates are important in changing their votes? Are they the same as average voters — or are they demographically and categorically different?
For the answers, we looked at data from Resonate, a digital media marketing firm that has served hundreds of advocacy groups and political campaigns on both sides of the aisle. The company’s research-based data sets go into extreme detail on consumers — their beliefs, interests, opinions and preferences.
Among people who are likely voters in the Republican primary — and consider debates to be influential sources to their voting — here’s what we know:
They are 147 percent more likely than the public at large to value “patriotism” as a very important factor. That’s far and away bigger than any other “value.” At the bottom of the list? Happiness. Republican debate watchers are 33 percent less likely than the public to think happiness is important.
They tend to be older and richer. They are what you think of as a stereotypical Republican base: almost twice as likely as the public to be over 65 years old, have over $2 million in assets, very often a military veteran, and heavy attenders of a Protestant church.
That means the debate is really about speaking to the true, core base of the GOP.
When asked about ways to help the environment, the most popular choice is “none of the above.” And the absolute least popular choice? No surprise: government regulations. Perhaps even most striking, this group of people is 25 percent MORE LIKELY to stop buying a green product.
Read that again: The people most likely influenced by Wednesday’s debate say they actually would go out of their way to avoid buying a green product.
These points hit the obvious reality check numbers, suggesting that the data are indeed true and matches up with what we would expect about the truest, most hardcore base of the Republican party.
- With that reality check confirmed, what other interesting and fun things can we find out about them?
- Well, they are 21 percent more likely to have eaten at McDonald’s in the past week.
- They are 87 percent more likely to use Windows.
- They are 103 percent more likely to currently own a motorcycle.
- They are 38 percent less likely to use YouTube on a daily basis.
- They are 51 percent more likely to have high blood pressure.
- They are 73 percent more likely to shop at Jos. A. Bank.
- They are 76 percent more likely to watch the “Bachelorette.”
And finally: They are 58 percent more likely to visit Pizza Hut at least five times in the past month, and 134 percent more likely to say they go there because “the food tastes good.”
So … it’s this group of people that the GOP debaters will be trying to convince come Wednesday.