Top Five Dial Testing Takeaways from Swing Voters in Sioux City, IA

Dialsmith is the technology partner and provider of the dial testing services for a closely followed, monthly Swing Voter Insights study being conducted by Engagious and Focus Pointe Global. The groups, which started this past March, are being held every month up until Election 2020 in key swing voter districts across the Midwest and Florida. So, every month, moving forward, we’ll be bringing you our top 5 takeways pulled directly from the dial testing results for each of the groups.

First up, some interesting results from Sioux City, Iowa. This group was made up of 11 participants–all of whom voted for Obama in 2012 and then Trump in 2014. They were asked a series of scale-based, discreet choice and moment-to-moment questions and were asked to respond using our Perception Analyzer dials. Here’s what the results told us:

#1 In the Democratic candidates’ campaign ads, Iowa swing voters on average liked hearing about progressive policies but did not like criticism of the Trump administration.

The study tested campaign ads for four of the Democratic candidates. asking the group of Iowa swing voters to rate each ad moment-to-moment on a scale of 0 (Totally Dislike) to 100 (Totally Like) using our Perception Analyzer dials. The dial results clearly pinpointed specific messages within each of the candidates’ ads that were a hit with this group or missed the mark.

Cory Booker’s civil rights messages clearly misses but his message about Americans’ courage to change their lives and their communities was a winner.

Kirsten Gillibrand’s message critical of the Trump administration on things like corruption, immigration and the NRA did not fly with these Iowa voters. But her messages on traditional progressive programs like universal health care, paid family leave and ending gun violence were well-received.

Kamala Harris’ medicare-for-all message is a winner.

Like most of the candidates, universal healthcare coverage was a positive message for Amy Kobluchar. But these swing voters didn’t want to hear her criticism of government gridlock.


#2 Majority of these Iowa swing voters are lukewarm on the economy’s impact on them and their families.

#3 Despite voting for Trump, these Iowa swing voters predominantly favor a more progressive tax policy that puts a higher tax burden on the wealthy.

#4 These Iowa swing voters just don’t care about the results of the Mueller Report.

#5 These Iowa swing voters do NOT favor Democrats taking the impeachment path with President Trump.

If you’d like to download the full report from the Iowa swing voter group and/or view video highlights, visit the Swing Voter Insights page. If you’d like to chat with our team about how can help you find out what voters are thinking about anything from campaign speeches and ads to public policy messaging, please let us know. And please stay tuned for our top dial testing takeaways from next month’s Swing Voter Insights group in Erie, Pennsylvania.