Top Five Dial Testing Takeaways from Swing Voters in Erie, PA

Dial testing results from swing voters Erie PA

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. These swing voter focus groups, which started this past March, are held every month up through Election 2020 in key swing voter districts across the Midwest and Florida. So, every month, we’ll be sharing our Top 5 Dial Testing Takeways from the latest focus group.

June’s group was held in Erie, Pennsylvania and was made up of 8 participants—all of whom voted for Obama in 2012 and then Trump in 2016. They were asked a series of scale-based, discreet choice and moment-to-moment questions using our Perception Analyzer dials. The dial results revealed some results in common with our prior groups but there were some surprises as well. Here are our top takeaways from the Erie swing voter dial results:

Takeaway #1 | Biden’s criticism of President Trump’s response to Charlottesville did not sit well with these Erie swing voters.

As the downtrending dial results (white line) clearly show in the video below, the swing voters in our group disliked Biden’s criticism of President Trump’s response to the Charlottesville events. In follow ups, participants mentioned that they thought Biden was mischaracterizing Trump’s statements and politicizing a tragic event. However, there was a general perception in the group that Biden, as a more moderate Democratic candidate, would pose a significant risk to the President’s re-election.


Takeaway #2 | John Hickenlooper’s message touting his record of accomplishments resonated with these swing voters.

Somewhat of a surprise, these swing voters responded favorably to the former Colorado Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate John Hickenlooper’s announcement video. As evidenced by the dial results in the video below, the group reacted favorably to Hickenlooper’s record of accomplishments as both Mayor of Denver and Governor of Colorado.


Takeaway #3 | Most of the Democratic presidential candidates are still relatively unknown.

On the eve of the first Democratic primary debates, the majority of Democratic candidates are still relatively unknown to this group of swing voters. In fact, only Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke were above the “Mendoza Line” with regard to being recognizable, on average, by our group.

Takeaway #4 | This group of Erie swing voters supports the President’s tariffs.

Erie being a big manufacturing town, perhaps this takeaway isn’t a big surprise. These Obama-Trump voters are still very much behind the President’s trade policies, scoring a 7.5 on a scale of 0 (Totally oppose) to 10 (Totally support) in favor of the Administration’s use of tariffs.

Takeaway #5 | These Erie swing voters, on the whole, do not think that it will help the Democrats in the 2020 Election to move forward with impeachment proceedings on the President.

Let’s remember this swing group was made up exclusively of Obama-Trump voters, so maybe the fact that 25% think moving forward with impeachment proceedings will help the Democrats in the next election is also somewhat newsworthy here.

If you’d like to download the full report from the Erie 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 as we travel up the road a bit and around Lake Erie to Warren, Michigan.