Debate Live Dial Results Find Voters Want Action on Serious Issues, Not an Anti-Trump Campaign

Debate Live Dial Results Find Voters Want Action on Serious Issues, Not an Anti-Trump Campaign


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Results from a focus group using live-dial measurements during the recent Democratic presidential debate found voters are looking for movement in several key issue areas–not merely a campaign against incumbent Donald Trump.

The results, released Monday by the Washington non-profit Democracy Corps, also found that Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris were the winners of their respective nights of the two-night debate event in Miami, Fla.,
all but three of the 20 candidates on stage increased their net favorabilty among those surveyed and Democrats performed well among the so-called rising American electorate, white working-class women, and white college-educated women — all proven to be important demographic groups for Democrats going into 2020, according to materials released to announce the results of the focus group test.

Although Warren and Harris won their respective evenings, they still received less support overall than long-time front-runner, former vice president Joe Biden, the results found.

This was a debate where voters said their most important issues were health care and drug costs, climate change, and getting immigration under control. The motivation is not about getting Trump out of office – that is lower on the priorities and didn’t rise in the either night’s post survey, the live-dial results found.

Democracy Corps, founded in 1999 by Democratic strategist James Carville and Stan Greenberg, conducted live dial-meter testing of the June 26 and 27 Democratic presidential primary debates among the rising American electorate (African Americans, Latinos, white unmarried women, and white millennials), white working-class women and men, and white college women.

Data charts in PDF format from the focus group can be downloaded here.

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