Author Archives: Douglas Kaplan

Gravis Minnesota poll results

Gravis Marketing conducted a poll in Minnesota and found Former Vice President Joe Biden opening up a solid 17-point edge over President Donald Trump.  In 2016, Hillary Clinton narrowly carried the state of Minnesota by a point and a half while losing other midwestern states that Obama had carried twice including Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  A 17-point win for Joe Biden would mark the largest margin for a presidential candidate in the state of Minnesota since Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide.  When the 10% of voters who said they are undecided were forced to make a choice, they backed Trump by a 6-point margin.  When combined, this narrowed the margin a bit to 16 points.  In the poll, Biden earns the support of 85% of self-identified Democrats (in Minnesota, the Democratic party is the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) and 51% of self-identified independents while Trump is at 73% of self-identified Republicans and 34% of self-identified independents. When undecideds are pushed, Biden gets 90% of Democrats and Trump gets 81% of Republicans. Minnesota (June 19, 2020) Poll Results

 

According to the poll, President Trump has a job approval rating in the state of Minnesota at 42% approve and 56% disapprove. 83% of Republicans approve of the job the President is doing while 84% of Democrats disapprove.  The elected official Minnesotans approve of the most at this time is Governor Tim Walz who earns a 61%-37% approval split. One third of Republicans in the poll indicated that they approve of the job Walz has done as Governor.  Minnesota’s two Senators also receive positive marks with Amy Klobuchar at 55%-36% and Tina Smith at 46%-36%.  

 

Voters were asked about the guilt of the four officers charged in the death of George Floyd and most have an opinion.  51% indicated that they believe all four charged Minneapolis police officers are guilty while 29% said only Derek Chauvin is guilty and 4% said that none of the officers are guilty. 55% of voters approve of the decision to put Attorney General Keith Ellison in charge of the prosecution of the four officers while 34% disapprove. 

 

When asked about recent protests around the country, 60% of Minnesota voters have a somewhat or mostly positive view of the protests while 36% have a somewhat or mostly negative view. 57% approve of the Black Lives Matter movement while 38% disapprove. 

 

There is broad approval for the local police departments of voters.  68% approve of the job performance of their local police department with 17% disapproving. When asked specifically about the Minneapolis police department, 62% indicated that the department should be reformed, 9% want the department defunded, 8% said demilitarized, 7% want it disbanded, and 14% feel that no change is needed. 23% of Republicans feel that no change is needed while 6% say disband, 4% say demilitarize, 2% say defund and 64% say reformed.  6% of Democrats feel that no change is needed while 17% say defund, 9% say disband, 10% say demilitarize and 58% say reformed. 65% of independents want the department reformed and 5% want the department disbanded. 

 

This poll was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research p2p texting and data firm. This poll of 600 registered voters in Minnesota was conducted on June 19th and has a margin of error of ±4%. This survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users.  This poll was not commissioned by any campaign committee or other organization and was paid for by Gravis Marketing.  Results are weighted by voting demographics.  Questions can be directed to the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, Doug Kaplan.  

 Minnesota (June 19, 2020)

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President Trump Leads in North Carolina OAN Gravis Poll

President Donald Trump holds a 3-point edge in North Carolina over Joe Biden according to a poll conducted by Gravis Marketing for One America News Network. The margin is similar to the 3.7 points Trump carried the state by in 2016 and the 2 points Mitt Romney carried it by in 2012. In the Senate race, incumbent Republican Thom Tillis narrowly leads Cal Cunningham 46%-45% and incumbent Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is tied with Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest at 46%.  The good news for the Democratic ticket may be that the undecideds in these polls are disproportionately moderate and liberal as well as under the age of 50.

The poll largely finds positive approval ratings in North Carolina of elected officials.  The poll finds Trump at 52%-45%, Cooper at 53%-42% and Tillis at 53%-37%.  The only negative approval rating found was of Senior Republican Senator Richard Burr at 37%-44%. Burr has recently faced an investigation over stock sales.

Beyond Trump’s 3-point edge in the state, voters trust him to handle the economy better than Biden by a 49%-43% margin.  Voters are split over preventing further violent riots in American cities.  Voters also have a negative view of recent riots saying that rioting is not an effective way to change policy by a 68%-18% margin. Blame for recent riots is seen as more on the protestors (50%) than police (32%).  There is also strong support for activating the National Guard to prevent further rioting (53%-33%).   The poll also finds broad support for the police (78%-10%) and 75%-11% support for continuing to fund the police.

Registered voters in North Carolina are broadly supportive (79%-12%) of coronavirus related travel restrictions from certain countries. There is also a prevalent belief among voters (by a 67%-20% margin) that had China taken earlier steps to mitigate the coronavirus that the United States would have been affected to a lesser extent.

This poll was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan telephone townhall, research and data firm. This poll of 631 registered voters in North Carolina was conducted on June 17th and has a margin of error of ±3.9%. This survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users.  This poll was paid for by One America News Network.  Results are weighted by voting demographics.  Questions can be directed to the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, Doug Kaplan.

POLL RESULTS President Trump Leads in North Carolina OAN Gravis PollGravis Marketing

2019 Gravis Marketing Kentucky Poll

Gravis Marketing has released a poll from one of two red states Democrats are trying to offense in 2019: Kentucky.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky has taken a sharp turn to the right since Bill Clinton narrowly carried the state in 1992 and 1996.  It voted for Donald Trump by nearly 30 points in 2016.  Democrats have, however, won statewide races recently in Kentucky.  Democrats won the 2015 Secretary of State and Attorney General races and have won a Gubernatorial race as recently as 2011.  With an unpopular incumbent running for reelection, Democrats hope to regain some of the ground they have recently lost in Kentucky.  Gravis Marketing’s new Kentucky poll shows Democrats have an uphill battle in 2019.

For the Gubernatorial race, Matt Bevin currently leads Andy Beshear 48%-42%.  Beshear does considerably better with college educated voters (trailing 51%-49% among those with a bachelor’s degree and leading 55%-32% among those with a post-graduate education).  The problem for Beshear is that there just aren’t many those voters in Kentucky.  Bevin holds a 53%-32% lead among voters with a high school diploma and 51%-40% among those with “some college” education.  38% of the sample has a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 62% without.  The gender gap is evident as well with Beshear leading 47%-40% among women and trailing Bevin 57%-37% among men.

Democrats are also in jeopardy of losing the Attorney general race for the first time since the 1940’s.  Former State House Speaker and State Attorney General Greg Stumbo trails Attorney and former University of Louisville football player Daniel Cameron 47%-36%.

Gravis Marketing also tested some 2020 matchups.  Mitch McConnell leads former Lexington Mayor and 2016 Democratic Senate nominee Jim Gray 49%-41%.  Donald Trump is in a much better position than McConnell leading Biden 57%-37%, Sanders 57%-35%, Warren 60%-28% and Buttigieg 60%-28%.  Trump’s current approval rating in Kentucky is 60% with 37% disapproving.  Nancy Pelosi has roughly the inverse of Trump’s numbers with only 30% approving and 62% disapproving of her job as Speaker.

This poll was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research and data firm. This poll of 741 Kentucky Voters  was conducted June 11th through 12th and has a margin of error of ±3.6%.  The survey was conducted using an online panel of cell phone users and live agents.  This poll was not commissioned by any campaign committee or other organization and was paid for by Gravis Marketing.  Results are weighted by voting demographics.  Questions can be direction to the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, Doug Kaplan.

Kentucky (June 14, 2019)

Gravis Marketing Alabama Poll Results

“Former U.S. attorney G. Douglas Jones, a Democrat, holds a slim lead over his GOP challenger and two-time state chief justice Roy S. Moore with 48 percent to Moore’s 44 percent, according to the Big League-Gravis poll conducted Dec. 1 through Dec. 3 with 1,276 voters likely to vote in Alabama’s Dec. 12 special Senate election. Big League Reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DECEMBER 3, 2017

INTERVIEWS: Doug Kaplan, 407-242-1870

Questions concerning methodology can be sent to doug@gravismarketing.com.

Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research firm, conducted a random survey of 1,276 likely voters across Alabama. The poll was conducted from December 1st through the 3rd and has a margin of error of ±2.7%. The totals may not round to 100% because of rounding. The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The results are weighted by voting demographics.

Q1 How likely are you to vote in the runoff election for US Senate to be held on December 12?
Very likely………………………………………72%

Likely…………………………………….………….18%

Somewhat likely………………………………..….10%

Q2 Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president?
Strongly approve………………………………40%

Somewhat approve…………………….………….11%

Somewhat disapprove……………………..……….5%

Strongly disapprove……………………………….40%

Uncertain…………………………………………….4%

Q3 Will you vote for a Democrat or Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018?
Democrat………………………………………………….. 41%

Republican………………..…………..……..…48%

Uncertain………………………….……….………11%

Q4 How favorable or unfavorable are you toward Donald Trump?
Very favorable…………………………………40%

Somewhat favorable…………….…….………….12%

Uncertain……………………..……………….…….3%

Somewhat unfavorable……….…………………….6%

Very unfavorable………………….……………….39%

Q5 How favorable or unfavorable are you toward Roy Moore?
Very favorable…………………………………27%

Somewhat favorable…………….…….………….15%

Uncertain……………………..……………….…….7%

Somewhat unfavorable……….…………………….6%

Very unfavorable………………….……………….45%

Q6 How favorable or unfavorable are you toward Doug Jones?
Very favorable…………………………………32%

Somewhat favorable…………….…….………….14%

Uncertain……………………..…..….……….…….9%

Somewhat unfavorable……….…………………….7%

Very unfavorable………………….……………….39%

Q7 Who did you vote for in the primary for US Senate?
Republican Roy Moore……………………………….. 30% Democrat Doug Jones……………………………. 26%

Republican Luther Strange………………………….. 19%

Didn’t vote………………………………………………… 15%

Republican Mo Brooks…………………………………. 4%

Republican Trip Pittman………………………………. 1%

Another Democrat……………………………………….. 3%

Democrat Robert Kennedy……………………………. 1%

Another Republican……………………………………… 1%

Q8 If the election for US Senate were held today for whom would you vote?
Republican Roy Moore……………………………….. 44% Democrat Doug Jones……………………………. 48%

Uncertain…………………………………………………… 8%

Q9 If you are undecided, which candidate do you most lean toward?
Republican Roy Moore……………………………….. 32% Democrat Doug Jones……………………………. 17%

Uncertain…………………………………………………. 51%

Q8+Q9 Voting for or leaning towards

Republican Roy Moore……………………………….. 46% Democrat Doug Jones……………………………. 49%

Uncertain……………………………………………………. 4%

Q10 Have you heard or read any news about sexual assault accusations against Roy Moore recently?
Yes…………………………………………………………… 94% No…….…………………………………………………… 6%

Q11 How did what you heard or read about these accusations impact your likelihood to vote for Roy Moore?
More likely………………………………………………… 23%

No impact on likelihood to vote…………….……48%

Less likely to vote……………………………………….. 30%

Q12 Do you believe these accusations about Roy Moore?
Yes…………………………………………………………… 42% No…….…………………………………………………. 34%

Uncertain……………………………..……….24%

Q13 Do you believe the Washington Post did the right thing in publishing these accusations?
Yes…………………………………………………………… 49% No…….…………………………………………………. 34%

Uncertain……………………………..……….17%

Q14 Who do you think is more likely telling the truth?
Four Women……………………………………………… 44% Republican Roy Moore…….…………………….. 32%

Uncertain……………………………..……….24%

Q15 Do you trust Roy Moore?
Yes…………………………………………………………… 37% No…….…………………………………………………. 47%

Uncertain……………………………..……….15%

Q16 What is your party affiliation?
Democrat………………………………………………….. 33% Independent or in Another Party…………………. 19%

Republican……………………………………..48%

Q17 Are you or is a member of your immediate family from a Latino, Hispanic or Spanish speaking background?
No……………………………………………………………. 98% Yes………………………………………………………… 2%

Q18 What race do you identify yourself as?
White/Caucasian……………………………………….. 73% African-American……………………………………. 22%

Hispanic………………………………………………….. 2%

Asian………………………………………………………. 1%

Other/No Affiliation………………………………….. 1%

Q19 Which of the following best represents your religious affiliation?
Catholic……………………………………………………… 6% Other/No Affiliation…………………………………… 23%

Protestant/Other Non-Denom. Christian………. 49%

Jewish………………………………………………………. 1%

Evangelical Christian………………………………… 21%

Muslim……………………………………………………… 1%

Q20 What is the highest level of education you have completed?
Some High School/No Diploma……………………… 3% High School Graduate……………………………… 22%

Some College………………………………………….. 31%

Bachelor’s Degree…………………………………… 30%

Post Graduate…………………………………………. 14%

Q21 What is your annual household income?
Under $30,000…………………………………………… 20% $30,000 to $50,000……………………………….. 20%

$50,000 to $100,000………………………………. 29%

$100,000 to $150,000……………………………. 14%

Over $150,000…………………………………….. 7%

Uncertain…………………………………………………. 11%

Q22 What is your age group?
18-29……………………………………………………….. 12% 30-49……………………………………………………….. 31%

50-64…………………………………………..32%

Over 65……………………………..………………25%

Q23 What is your gender?
Male………………………………………………………… 48% Female………………………………………………….. 52%

GM_Release_AL_12032017 v2 Crosstabs – Table Format – ALABAMA – DECEMBER 4 2017GM_Release_AL_12032017 v2

“With less than two weeks left before the special election, the race is tight and going to pivot on which direction the Luther Strange voters go,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that executed the poll. The poll carries a 2.7 percent margin of error.

Sen. Luther J. Strange III (R.-Ala.) lost the Sept. 26 primary runoff to Moore with Strange securing 218,066 votes to Moore’s 262,204 votes.

“Who are the voters, who are going to vote against Moore twice?” Kaplan asked.

In the Aug. 15 Democratic primary, Jones secured 109,105 votes of the 165,006 votes cast, if all the Democrats vote for Jones, Moore needs to hold on to 97,199 Strange voters, or 45 percent of the Strange voters, if the turnout in this off-cycle winter election matches the turnout from the August contest for the Democrats and the September contest for the Republicans.

In the Nov. 14 Big League-Gravis poll, 64 percent of the Republicans who voted for Strange, roughly 140,000, said they would support Moore two days after the article in The Washington Post and 22 percent said they would vote for Jones.

Kaplan said Jones is getting 93 percent of Democrats, while Moore only gets 76 percent of Republicans.

“Jones is also winning with self-identified Independents by more than 25 percent,” he said.

“This is third of four polls we are conducting in Alabama and another key is the undecided vote,” he said.

“When we saw the shift for Jones in the last poll, there was a movement of voters saying they were undecided, instead of coming out for Jones,” he said.

“In this poll, either Jones is winning in the poll or people are being dishonest, because they don’t want to admit that they are actually voting for Moore.”

Inoculation is worth a pound of cure

 

The old adage starts out “an ounce of prevention…”  The wisdom is thainoculation theory t a pound of cure, after exposure to a harmful element, is far more expensive and painful than the cost of dealing with the issue before it becomes harmful.

When Ben Franklin first imparted his advice, he did not limit it to medicine.  Far from it.  His statement is an analogy that is relevant in nearly every facet of life – including politics.

When deciding to run for office, candidates must be honest with themselves.  They must take stock of their shortcomings and their “youthful indiscretions.”  Candidates must take full account of their controversial decisions and votes.  They must inventory their own “derogatories” because any opponent with a scintilla of common sense will have their own catalog of your shortcomings with which they might attack.

Once a candidate knows his own points of weakness, he can evaluate which ones might be the most damaging in a campaign.  Of those damaging issues, a candidate can narrow down the ones that the opponent most likely knows.  Of those, which ones are best documented?  Of the issues left, which ones does the opponent have the moral high ground, meaning she does not have the same shortcomings?  Finally, a candidate must evaluate how much money the opponent likely has and how much of that budget they might be willing to spend on an attack.

A campaign should be able to identify the one or two issues most likely to be used in an attack.  Once this is known, creating a plan to mitigate or even prevent an attack is imperative.

In politics, this process is referred to as “inoculation”.  Inoculation can come in many forms, but the idea is that a campaign take control of an issue, and tell its own story, before the opponent decides to go on the attack.

Direct mail is an excellent venue to deliver an inoculation.  A campaign should be able to target the audience deemed most important in order to win a campaign.  A campaign can pinpoint, with amazing accuracy, the precise households that will be most receptive and impacted by an inoculation message.

As with television and the Internet, direct mail is a visual medium.  A campaign must be able to tell a story with powerful images, while using as few words as possible, to achieve its goals in direct mail.  If a candidate wishes to inoculate against a youthful indiscretion, for instance, using a photo of a youthful candidate while describing the “offense” is an effective way to contrast with a more mature candidate now.  Another critical element in an inoculation effort is to explain how the recovery from the youthful indiscretion makes the candidate a stronger, better choice than if the incident never occurred.

Another reason direct mail is an excellent medium to use is the fact that it is more difficult for an opponent to track.  When a campaign purchases television or radio, a public record exists that is available to the opposition.  The opponent will know the exact audience that the campaign is trying to reach, and that allows the opposition to mount a counterstrike.  With direct mail, the mailing list that a campaign uses is proprietary.  Unless the opponent is engaging in some level of unlawful espionage, the mail list is known only to the campaign manager and the mail house – both of whom have professional obligations of confidentiality and nondisclosure.

In some cases a campaign may want to increase the effectiveness of its inoculation message.  A corresponding digital campaign can be targeted to IP addresses associated with the mail list used for the inoculation direct mail piece.  This tactic ensures that the same households targeted for direct mail will also be targeted for the digital ad.  The digital ad can link to the candidate’s web site, social media, or another location that is designed to tell the same story in the direct mail.

The nature of inoculation means that a campaign is choosing to be proactive before the opposition wages an attack.  There is never a guarantee that an opponent will go on the attack.  However, a compelling case can be made to create an inoculation when the issue in question is one that will move voters.  The motivation towards inoculation becomes stronger if the issue is one that is available in public records.  Another factor to assist in the decision to create an inoculation message is the resources of the opposition.  By studying publicly available finance reports, a campaign can evaluate if the opponent has enough resources to issue a negative message.

Whether or not to issue an inoculation is a decision that a candidate should not make on his or her own.  Objective, experienced, and skilled consultants can help guide a campaign in tough situations such as these.  The professionals at Gravis Marketing are experienced and trained to handle the most difficult campaigns.  No matter what situation you are facing, Gravis has been there.  Gravis can help you tell your story, and Gravis can help you identify the exact audience for each story.