Let’s start off with a fact. 22% of American voters believe it could take over a year before life returns to “normal.” Compare that to just 11% one month ago.
Since the coronavirus pandemic crisis started in the United States, Resonate has been tracking real-time voter sentiment data and analyzing its evolution from month to month. Our National Voter Survey is scaled to 200 million U.S. adult voters and gives us insights into their behaviors, motivations and values. We want to know how this crisis is affecting the everyday lives of American voters and highlight how you can adapt your messaging to speak to them now.
The Values of American Voters Today
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted life in the United States in ways that we could never have imagined back in January 2020. And, the American voter psyche has been affected in a manner that’s rarely seen in a lifetime.
For most people, their values won’t see dramatic swings over the course of years or even decades. It’s often only life-altering circumstances that can cause those core values to shift up or down in importance –– and the COVID-19 crisis has certainly proven itself to be life-altering.
As we look at the values that matter now and the net change in those values from before the coronavirus pandemic to now, there's a clear story that emerges. Values that express a sense of community and a focus on others have risen to the top in importance. We see a marked increase in values around helping/caring for family and friends, having a safe and stable community, treating people equally and justly, respecting a duty to fulfilling obligations and obeying rules that benefit society as a whole.
Tracking the Impact of Values on Public Policy Opinion
But, how will this shift in values towards a community-centric mindset affect voting behavior? We’ve seen that it’s making an impact on voter opinion of public policies that correlate with these values. Across the board, we see that voters have increased support for Medicare for all and expanding social safety net programs. We also saw an increase in those who are much more supportive of enhancing free meal programs and enhancing unemployment coverage.
As a result of all you have learned and experienced related to the coronavirus situation in this country, how has your opinion toward the following public policies changed?
Comparing the Impact of Coronavirus Across the Ballot
But, will changing values and stances on values-driven public policies translate into votes on election day? Of course, there are still many months of campaigning ahead, but we have an early finger on the pulse of how those voters could be shifting as the pandemic wanes on.
As a result of all you have learned and experienced related to the coronavirus situation in this country, for which of the following positions have you changed the person for whom you intend to vote?
While there are still almost 69% of voters indicating that this pandemic has not changed who they will vote for, that’s 9% less than said the same thing a month ago. Similarly, the number who plan to change their vote for President increased 6.5% from March to April and numbers across all levels from Governor to Senator increased as well.
We know that voter sentiment is changing rapidly, so these numbers will continue to shift as we move towards phased reopening across the United States. Resonate is closely tracking real-time data as well as actively collecting and analyzing survey results to measure the values, opinions, and motivations of American voters that will help inform your campaign decision making during this critical time. Successful candidates will build platforms that keep in mind the humanity of the daily struggles happening across the nation. They will realize that in times of crisis the country is demanding strong leaders who offer strong policy, action, and caring hands.
The campaigns who will break through and prevail will be those who can capture these unique district/state/national sentiment shifts in real-time to understand their electorate, consistently refresh target segments and personalize their digital outreach messaging to focus on these quick-shifting dynamics. For more details on how Resonate can help, request a demo today.
Heather Bien is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Resonate, a voter data intelligence leader providing real-time, dynamic insights scaled to the entire U.S. adult population. Creating groundbreaking assets, including the Voter Landscape, Heather and the content team dive into the proprietary data available through the Resonate platform to analyze trends in voter values, preferences, motivations and more.