The Icosahedron #9 ft. Trevor Smith, Ph.D. on National Data Trends

Thanks for reading our newsletter! In this issue, Research Director Trevor Smith, Ph.D., provides insight on the latest national data, and how we’re helping our clients navigate the climate. For intelligence like this and more, contact us and we’ll connect you with a member of our team.

A PSA on National Data Trends

By Trevor Smith, Ph.D., Research Director

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been analyzing various polls to provide the best insight possible overall and among key demographic groups (consider this your pocket-sized meta-analysis of national polling).

This report has two sections: 1) Key Groups & Breaks to Watch and 2) Coronavirus.

Key Groups & Breaks to Watch (Rolling Together June 25-July 7 National Polls)

Seniors (65+): In the past six elections, these voters favored the GOP, from +2 in 2018 to +8 in 2008. The last time we ran even among seniors was in 2006.  




In the latest average, Republicans are near even with Democrats. This is a great concern at the moment and the GOP must figure out a way to be less like 2018 and more like 2016 with this group of voters.

Ignoring the current average, we think there is a mode effect happening between the Economist/YouGov polls (all online panel) versus everyone else.

On the Generic Congressional Ballot:

  • Economist/YouGov – 16 polls since mid-March, GOP 50% and DEM 43%
  • All Else – four polls since mid-March, GOP 43% and DEM 51%

There is clearly a disparity in the number of live versus online polls, but the difference is interesting and something we are watching.  

White Voters Overall: In the 2016 election, President Trump won Whites by 20% and in 2018, Republicans won Whites by 10%. The data currently suggest Republicans are currently behind on the ballot compared to these markers.

Generic Congressional Ballot: +6%
Presidential Ballot: +6%

White Voters Broken Out by Education: White voters are not a monolith. One significant break within white voters is that of Whites without a college degree versus those with a college degree. In 2016, President Trump won Whites without a college degree 66% to 29% and Whites with a college degree 48% to 45%. 

In the most recent average

  • No College Degree  GOP is +21 on the Generic Congressional Ballot  
  • College Degree – GOP is -23% on the Generic Congressional Ballot 

We are watching these two groups of voters and identifying how our clients can widen our lead among those without a college degree and decrease our current disadvantage among those Whites with a degree.

The WPAi Solution

Republicans need to find out which messages bring these different subgroups of voters back into the fold. Typical polling lets you look at the cross tabs and figure out which messages voters say moves them.

But WPAi’s Message MapTM methodology allows our clients to dig deeper and find out which messages actually move different groups of voters. Not only that, our Message Maps help clarify which messages will cut through the noise of a busy campaign and news cycle – vital intelligence for any candidate or group looking to make meaningful impact in a race.


According to Civiqs, concern about the Coronavirus appears to have leveled off around 62% throughout July but, more importantly, every single national demo shows roughly equal concerns (between 55% for Whites to as high as 88% for Democrats and Blacks) except for Republicans (33%). This lack of concern among Republicans compared to other parties is consistent across almost all states.

Overall Concern, Nationally 


Additionallythis Republican split is also evident when it comes to satisfaction of the federal government’s response to the pandemic: Republicans are 72% satisfied, Democrats 5%, and Independents 35%.

Voters 65+ are the most satisfied (44%) compared to other age breaks: 50-64 (41%), 35-49 (33%), and 18-34 (22%). The combination of high levels of concern and satisfaction with the federal government’s response among 65+ could be an opportunity to consolidate support amongst seniors alongside more typical campaign messaging. 

Satisfaction with Federal Government Response

There are currently two Americas when it comes to issues around the Coronavirus: Republicans, and everyone else. Moving forward, it will be important to see how Independents continue to respond to various events regarding the Coronavirus.

The WPAi Solution
We are finding that a message hitting Democrats on China stealing intellectual property and technology from American Companies and covering up the COVID-19 pandemic, delaying worldwide response, is having the intended effect of moving voters toward our ticket. China is increasingly viewed negatively by members of both parties (Pew Research), and given the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up of the virus in the early months, Republicans can highlight how China has been, and will continue to be, held accountable. 

Therefore, we have developed a model of voters who are most likely to blame China for the pandemic and want to hold the country responsible. These voters will be most receptive to campaign messaging that blames China and will want a leader to hold the CCP accountable. This universe is available nationwide and can be overlaid with any custom or Data Dictionary models available on our website.

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