Trevor Smith, Ph.D., on Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson

WPAi’s Chief Research Officer Trevor Smith appeared on Boyd Matheson’s Inside Sources to discuss his recent article with Democratic pollster Bradley Honan, the flaws seen in public polling, and what the media can do to save its credibility.

Listen in here.

Trevor Smith, Ph.D., on the Flaws and Limitations of Public Polling

It isn’t often that you will find a liberal Democrat and a conservative Republican agreeing. However, in this piece co-authored by Bradley Honan and WPAi’s Chief Research Officer Trevor Smith, we see that they can agree on one thing:

After the flawed media polls of 2016 and 2020, public-facing polling is in dire need of a re-boot.

In the first article of a two-part series written by the pair, the team highlights some of the flaws seen in 2016 and 2020. This informative piece from two experts in their field outlines what can cause a flawed poll, how media pollsters can avoid significant errors in their methodology, and what must be done to save media polling.

With innovative minds like Trevor Smith, Ph.D., at the helm, WPAi stays at the forefront of polling. Our methodology take these flaws into account, jumping ahead of shifts in the industry and providing our clients with the most accurate and up to date insights.

Read the article here

WPA Intelligence Releases Newest Round of Modeling for 2022 Election

WPA Intelligence’s first modeling refresh of 2022 hits at some of the most important issues of the election cycle. Get the intelligence needed to win through our new data dictionary models, now available in Bonfire.


Vaccine Mandates

Voters who are against coronavirus vaccine mandates.


Voters who blame the Biden administration for the rise in economic inflation.


Voters who believe that the Democratic party is becoming more socialist.

Parental Control 

Voters who believe parents should have greater influence over school curriculums.

Trevor Smith, PhD, named Chief Research Officer

On this Veteran’s Day, we are proud to announce that Trevor Smith, PhD, WPA Intelligence’s Director of Research and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, has been named WPAi’s new Chief Research Officer.

During his time with WPAi, Trevor has conducted and managed the implementation of polling projects for hundreds of political campaigns and policy initiatives.

Our CEO, Chris Wilson, had this to say on Trevor’s new role:

“Trevor Smith is the glue that holds us all together at WPAi.  He is the rare combination of brilliant, humble, and indefatigable.  We’re blessed to have him on our team and our clients are the beneficiary of his immense talents.”

Trevor has been a mentor to so many along the way and a cornerstone of our team for many years. We are looking forward to all Trevor has to offer the team and our clients in his new role.

Trevor has a Ph.D. from Walden University, an MPA from Webster University, and a BA from Pfeiffer University.

WPA Intelligence Congratulates Glenn Youngkin

It has been a distinct honor for WPA Intelligence to have been a part of the Youngkin team, building the data and analytics infrastructure that helped navigate the campaign through a tumultuous nominating contest, then build a winning collation of suburban, rural, and urban voters across Virginia on Tuesday night.

Glenn Youngkin is a generational candidate who lifted the entire team around him through his optimism, indefatigability and faith.  I’ve seldom been prouder to be a part of helping elect a person to office,” commented WPAi CEO Chris Wilson.

Youngkin Polling Director and WPAi Vice President Amanda Iovino said, “This campaign was data-driven from the beginning. At Glenn’s direction we built the strongest analytics program in Virginia history, giving the campaign the ability to identify persuadable voters in every community across the Commonwealth. We used the analytics to drive the polling that showed us the messages that not only resonated with voters but motivated them to vote for Glenn, and the results speak for themselves.”

Mike Carey (OH-15) Elected to Congress

Veteran and businessman Mike Carey has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for OH-15. We were honored to have worked alongside the campaign on their data and analytics. Congratulations to the Carey for Congress team and our very own Conor Maguire on the victory. On to 2022 and flipping the House!

WPAi CEO Chris Wilson on Fox Business

WPA Intelligence CEO Chris Wilson appeared on Fox Business to discuss the Virginia Governor’s race, Republican prospects for 2022, and more.

Conor Maguire Named to AAPC’s “40 Under 40”

Conor Maguire, WPA Intelligence Principal and Managing Director of our DC office, was awarded the distinct honor of being named to the American Association of Political Consultant’s 40 Under 40 list for 2021. The list is maintained yearly by AAPC to highlight the efforts of strategists from both sides of the aisle.

Conor’s dedication to data and analytics, alongside his experience with competitive campaigns across the country, has made him an invaluable asset to our team. As part of WPA, Conor has maintained a commitment to serving our clients with the most sophisticated polling and analytics in the field, while leading our DC team’s efforts for campaigns and corporate clients.

WPA Intelligence CEO Chris Wilson had this to say in regards to Conor’s achievement:

“Conor Maguire has quickly proven to be a leader in the polling and data industry. Conor’s dedication is proven by the success of our clients. His leadership as part of our DC team has not only expanded our capabilities, but developed one of the most talented teams in political data. This recognition is extremely well deserved.”

Conor becomes the 5th WPA strategist to be recognized with this award, including last year’s awardee and WPA Research Director Trevor Smith as well as WPA’s Director of Analytics Matt Knee.

Nevadans becoming more accepting of COVID-19 vaccine, poll finds – Published 03/05/2021

Nevadans becoming more accepting of COVID-19 vaccine, poll finds
By Mary Hynes
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Published March 5, 2021

More Nevadans have warmed to the idea of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 over the past five months, according to a new Review-Journal poll.

Seventy-three percent back inoculation, with 35 percent already having received a shot and 38 percent planning to get vaccinated, according to The Nevada Poll™, a phone and online survey of 500 likely voters conducted by WPA Intelligence from Feb. 26 through March 1. The survey has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

That’s a gain of 10 percentage points from the 63 percent who said they planned to get the shot when polled in early October, with the converts coming from the ranks of the undecided. Those opposed to being vaccinated dropped just 1 percentage point to 19 percent — still nearly one-fifth of those polled.

“I think there’s a lot more confidence out there” now in vaccines to protect against the coronavirus, Trevor Smith, research director of pollster WPA Intelligence, said of the shifting public opinion. “People are seeing a lot more people getting the vaccine. There’s less fear.”

Arthur Caplan, founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU School of Medicine, agreed, describing the shift as “significant.” He believes that many people initially were hesitant to be vaccinated because they didn’t want to be among the first recipients when they thought vaccine development might have been rushed.

“There’s starting to be an acceptance that things look OK. Nobody has grown a third arm or keeled over from vaccinations,” he said jokingly. “So I think that makes people comfortable.”

Herd immunity

With vaccine acceptance higher than 70 percent, the community could be inching toward herd immunity, authorities said, where enough people are immune to the coronavirus to prevent its transmission. They estimate that 70 percent to 90 percent of people need to have immunity for this to happen.

Dr. Walter A. Orenstein says we’re not there yet. He noted that despite the high rate of effectiveness of the vaccines, they are not perfect, and that 1 in 20 people who are inoculated with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, for example, won’t be protected.

He described acceptance rates reflected in the poll as a “good step in the right direction, but I think we need to go higher.” Orenstein is a professor of medicine at Emory University and the former director of the U.S. Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The survey indicates that women have been more concerned about getting inoculated than men. Forty-two percent of men polled said they had been vaccinated, compared with just 29 percent of women. But moving forward, there may be less of a difference: 57 percent of women who hadn’t gotten the vaccine planned to get it, compared to 59 percent of men.

Caplan believes the gender difference may reflect unfounded concerns that the vaccines can affect fertility by altering DNA.

At least one poll respondent mentioned this, saying: “My wife and I still hope to have kids. There is no research that definitively shows how the vaccines will affect fertility.”

Republicans have been less likely to get vaccinated, the poll found, with 30 percent saying they had gotten the vaccine, compared with 36 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of independent voters and those of other parties. Moving forward, three-quarters of Democrats plan to get vaccinated, compared with 43 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independent voters.

Forty-four percent of Trump voters said they would not get the vaccine, compared with just 13 percent of Biden voters.

“It is ironic, since one of the great things that was done under the Trump administration was the development of these vaccines,” Orenstein said.

Hesitancy fault lines

The survey also exposed some vaccine hesitancy fault lines among various racial groups.

Thirty-eight percent of white respondents said they’d gotten the vaccine, compared with 23 percent of Hispanics and 38 percent of Blacks.

Fifty-eight percent of whites said they planned to get vaccinated, compared with 64 percent of Hispanics and 54 percent of Blacks. However, the subgroup of Blacks was small enough to substantially increase the margin of error, calling into question the finding, Smith said.

Dr. Margot Savoy, an associate professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, said that as physicians and other trusted members of minority communities have begun to advocate for the vaccine, that has “shifted the tide a bit” away from the distrust.

Savoy, who is Black, said she was frank with her patients, telling them as recently as December that she couldn’t recommend the vaccine before she had reviewed the data from clinical studies

“But now we’ve been able to review the data and see how limited the number of serious side effects have been and how many people have now been vaccinated and not had any real serious issues come up,” she noted.

More important, she said, communities are seeing that people who have been vaccinated are avoiding hospitalization and death from the virus.

Wealthier, more educated people were more likely to have gotten the vaccine. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed who had college degrees and household incomes above $75,000 had gotten a vaccine, whereas just 24 percent of those without a degree and with a household income below $75,000 had been inoculated.

Yet across the socio-economic spectrum, poll respondents want the vaccine. Fifty-seven percent of those without college degrees and with household incomes of less than $75,000 want the vaccine, compared with 68 percent of those with a college degree earning more than the threshold.

“We do see numbers that consistently show that the rich are doing better than the poor in the country in terms of access” to vaccine, Caplan said, due to factors that may include education levels and less access to the internet to make appointments.

‘An aggressive side of the flu’

Smith, the pollster, said responses from those who did not want the vaccine primarily reflected concerns about the speed at which they were developed and possible long-term health impacts.

“It was put together too quickly, and it’s just a trial. We don’t know what side effects it could cause,” said one woman who voted for Trump.

A Democrat who voted for Biden also said she was “afraid of the long-term side effects.”

“I don’t trust the politicians or the pharmaceutical companies,” replied a self-described moderate male who voted for Trump.

“I am very healthy. I won’t get it. I drink apple cider every day,” said one 82-year old man who voted for Trump. “This is just an aggressive side of the flu.”

Nevadans also were asked how they thought vaccine should be distributed, with 32 percent favoring prioritizing pre-existing conditions and immune health, 29 percent favoring an age-based approach and 17 percent saying it should be based on employment.

In Nevada, employment has been a major driver of who gets the vaccine first, with hospital workers being the first to get vaccinated, followed by emergency responders and public security personnel. Many other employment groups also are now eligible, along with residents 65 and older.

Those 64 and younger — with or without pre-existing conditions — are not yet eligible for vaccine.

But Caleb Cage, who directs the state’s COVID-19 response, said public opinion is one thing, while sound public policy is another.

“Polls are not necessarily aligned with the scientific ethical and equitable approach that the state has been using from the very beginning, based on CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) input,” he said.

This article was originally published here.

Club for Growth endorses Mandel in Ohio GOP Senate primary – Published 03/04/2021

Club for Growth endorses Mandel in Ohio GOP Senate primary
By James Arkin
Politico, Published March 4, 2021

The conservative Club for Growth is endorsing former state Treasurer Josh Mandel in next year’s Ohio Senate primary, giving him a high-profile backer in the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman.

Mandel, a 43-year-old Marine veteran, was the first Republican to enter the race after Portman announced he would not seek a third term. Former state party chair Jane Timken has also launched her campaign, and several other Republicans are seriously considering running.

The Club for Growth previously endorsed Mandel in 2012, when he lost to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, and in 2018 when he launched a second campaign against Brown before dropping out of the race due to family health concerns. Along with the endorsement, the Club released internal polling showing Mandel with a big edge over the rest of the potential Republican field largely thanks to a huge advantage in how many GOP voters know him, according to details shared first with POLITICO.

“Josh Mandel is not only an American patriot who served two tours in Iraq, but he is also a strong constitutional conservative who believes in limited government, balanced budgets, low taxation and parental school choice,” David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth PAC, said in a statement.

The endorsement could be a big boost for Mandel in what is expected to become an expensive and crowded primary. Timken is the only other announced candidate and has already aired TV ads on Fox News since launching her bid. Several others considering the race, including businessmen Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno, state Sen. Matt Dolan, and Reps. Steve Stivers and Warren Davidson, among others.

Several potential candidates could invest their own funds in their bids, making the primary even more expensive. Mandel started with more than $4 million in his campaign account from previous runs for office.

In a poll conducted by WPA Intelligence in early February on behalf of the Club, Mandel had 38 percent support among GOP primary voters, while Stivers had 11 percent and Timken had 6 percent. More than one-third of voters were undecided. The early polling is likely based significantly on name ID, as Mandel, who has appeared on a statewide ballot in three different elections, is much better known than other prospective candidates.

The poll showed Mandel with 69 percent name ID among primary voters, with 42 percent viewing him favorably and just 9 percent viewing him unfavorably. Stivers was the second best-known candidate, followed by Timken and Gibbons, all of whom had positive ratings but were largely unknown.

WPA intelligence surveyed 509 likely GOP primary voters from Feb. 1-3, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.4 percentage points.

This article was originally published here.