Top Five Dial Testing Takeaways from Saginaw, Michigan Swing Voters

Dialsmith is the technology partner and dial testing services provider for the Swing Voter Project—an ongoing, national study being conducted by Engagious and Focus Pointe Global. The project features monthly focus groups set in key battleground districts across the Midwest and Florida. The first group was conducted this past March with new groups to be held every month through the 2020 Election. Full summary reports and video clips from each group can be found on the Swing Voter Project page, but if you want to know what the top dial testing takeaways from the most recent swing voter focus group, you’ve come to the right place.

Our latest stop on our swing voter focus group road tour took us to Saginaw, Michigan—a key swing district that swung towards President Trump in the 2016 election. The Saginaw focus group was made up of 10 participants, all of whom voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. Participants were asked a series of scale-based, and discreet choice questions using our Perception Analyzer dials. The dial testing revealed results that were somewhat expected as well as a few surprises. Given that, here are our top takeaways from the Saginaw, Michigan group:

Takeaway #1: Yang’s got game

It so interesting to watch the dial movements when our swing voter groups view and react to Democratic debates. In our Saginaw group, we showed them clips from the November Democratic debate and one candidate’s response rose to the top. Check out this highlight.

Takeaway #2: These swing voters are feeling the good economic vibes

The swing voters in this group gave the economy high marks with their dials. The group was asked to rate how the economy has been since President Trump took office on a scale from zero (“gotten much worse”) to ten (“gotten much better”). The results, as indicated below, were pretty positive:

Additionally, the group indicated that they were fairly optimistic about the future of the economy. When asked if they thought the US economy will enter a recession sometime in the next year, the average score was a 4.3 out of 10 on a scale of zero (“no chance it will enter a recession”) to 10 (“it’s already in a recession”).

Takeaway #3: These swing voters are skeptical of Medicare for All

The majority of the swing voters in the Saginaw group have heard a reasonable amount about Medicare for All over the past several months, scoring an average rating of 7.4 on a scale from zero (“hearing no news at all”) to ten (“hearing a large amount of news.”) On the question of whether they are in favor of eliminating private health insurance and replacing it with Medicare for All, the average score was a 3.4 on a scale from zero (“totally oppose”) to ten (“totally support.”) More bad news for Medicare for All? Eight of the ten swing voters told us they could not vote for a Democratic candidate who calls for eliminating private health insurance and replacing it with Medicare for All.

Takeaway #4: And about that whole impeachment thing

Contrary to national polling that has seen a mostly 50-50 split on support for impeaching the president, the Saginaw group, as indicated on the chart below, was pretty solidly against impeachment. They also feel that it is distracting from the issues that are important to them. One result to point out that ran against the grain was that the group did agree that the president did something wrong and that perhaps a censure was a more appropriate remedy. Using their dials, group members rated the statements below on a scale of zero (“totally disagree”) to ten (“totally agree.”)

Takeaway #5: It’s Bernie, Joe, Elizabeth and who?

Bucking a trend we’d been seeing in our past couple of groups, this group of swing voters was only familiar with the Democratic presidential frontrunners. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren were recognizable to most of the group, but, as indicated in the chart below, there was a big drop off after those three.

We asked our group members to use their dials to tell us their level of confidence in being able to identify unlabeled photos of the Democrats running for president in the 2020 election. Members ranked their level of confidence on a scale from zero (“no idea of who the candidate is?) to ten (“totally confident they know who the candidate is.”)

If you’d like to download the full summary from the Dubuque swing voter group and/or view video highlights, visit the Swing Voter Project page. You can also view the full series of dial testing results from the democratic debates on this YouTube channel.

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 as our team heads back to Michigan.