Category Archives: News

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)

Current South Carolina Polling

Gravis Marketing, a nonpartisan research firm, conducted a random survey of 768 registered voters across South Carolina. The poll was conducted from August 15th to the 17th and has a margin of error of ± 3.5% at the 95% confidence level. The total may not round to 100% because of rounding. The polls were conducted using automated telephone calls and online responses internet panels of cell phone respondents and weighted by voting patterns.

Q2: Do approve or disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance?
Online Graphing

Q3: If you had to vote today in a matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who would you vote for?
Online Graphing

Q4: If you had to vote today in a matchup between Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, who would you vote for?
Online Graphing

Q5: Do you think that gay conversion therapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation should be legal or illegal for minors in your state?
Online Graphing

The following questions are for demographic purposes:
What is your party affiliation?
Online Graphing

What is your political ideology?
Online Graphing

What race do you identify yourself as?
Online Graphing

Which of the following best represents your religious affiliation?
Online Graphing

What is the highest level of education have you completed?
Online Graphing

How old are you?
Online Graphing

What is your gender?
Online Graphing

Gravis Marketing and Breitbart News Network Partner for 2016 General Election Polling

Winter Springs, Fla. – When Doug Kaplan co-founded Gravis Marketing in 2010, he envisioned elevating the credibility and reliability of political polling. Six short years later, the non-partisan marketing and research firm based in Winter Springs, Fla. has received countless awards and has been showcased on some of the most recognized news sources in the United States. This past week, Breitbart News Network announced that it is launching a new partnership with Gravis Marketing to create the Breitbart / Gravis Poll Series; which will focus on General Election polling across the United States for the upcoming 2016 Presidential election.

Founded in 2007 by noted entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart and headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., with news bureaus in Texas, London, and Jerusalem; Breitbart News Network has established a solid reputation for delivering hard-hitting, factual news without the slant or bias often associated with today’s news networks. Ranked as one of the Top 1000 visited websites globally according to Alexa.com, Breitbart News Network is a rapidly growing news organization with a similar vision as Gravis Marketing – to provide real time information in regards to seeking the pulse of the American voter.

“The explosive growth of Breitbart News rests on our ability to provide real time, actionable information to our community,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Network. “Our partnership with Gravis is focused on just that — quantifying where the American people are on the issues of the day and the trends of tomorrow. Breitbart/Gravis will become a significant voice in the 2016 campaign and beyond.”

Breitbart News Editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow added; “It is not enough to grouse about bias and corruption. The best way to fight back is to get in the game ourselves, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Gravis Marketing’s accurate polling results have been recognized by multiple media sources in 2016. Bloomberg Politics named Gravis Marketing the most accurate poll during the 2016 primary season but also received an A- grade from Political Pundit Daily at the end of 2015. Gravis’ ability to infuse new data collection methods with remarkably accurate polling samples has rapidly accelerated the firm’s growth and establishes a solid foundation for the new Breitbart / Gravis Poll Series.

“I’m incredibly humbled that Breitbart has chosen Gravis Marketing to partner for their 2016 polling series,” noted Gravis Marketing President Doug Kaplan. “They have an incredible reach, verticals and bureaus all around the world.  Our firm has the bandwidth to produce polls efficiently, accurately, and quickly; which was a major factor on why Breitbart chose our team.”

Kaplan continued to state; “Andrew Breitbart was a conservative icon. He liberated millions of Americans from the mindlock of the mainstream media and the news platform he created, Breitbart News Network, is the biggest source of breaking news and analysis, thought-leading commentary, and original reporting curated and written specifically for the new generation of independent and conservative thinkers.”

The new Breitbart / Gravis Poll Series is set to kick off in August 2016. Polling data will be posted at Breitbart.com.

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.

 

Why Spin It When You Can Own It?

Gravis Marketing

            Conventional political wisdom when a candidate is faced with a scandal, controversy, or caught in a generally difficult situation is to either spin the situation or to pivot and redirect.  Neither of these responses directly addresses the issue, and both allow for the possibility for the issue to rear its head in the future.

            On the other hand, it may be advantageous for a candidate to openly address an issue, own the issue, and control the issue.

            In the history of American politics, every candidate for office has been, presumably, a human being.  Not a single human being breathes on earth who has not made mistakes.  Mistakes, how we handle them, atone for them, and learn from them shape who we are.

            We do not place our mistakes on our resumes, and candidates do not typically run for office by putting their worst foot forward.  So how do we effectively deal with our mistakes, or our candidates’ mistakes, when we are reasonably certain that they will become issues on the campaign trail?

            Just as no candidate in the history of politics is without sin, no voter is devoid of making mistakes.  The difference is that the voter is not wearing the same target that the candidate is.

            Before explaining why owning an issue may be the correct path for a candidate, we should explore why spin and pivot techniques may be the incorrect path.

            “Spin” is generally considered a biased method of retelling history or explaining an event or decision.  The problem with spin is that it requires the candidate or campaign team that is responding to tacitly concede that the situation to which they are responding is a negative situation.  Another problem with spin is that most voters may not be able to define what “spin” means, but they know it when they see or hear it.  Spin usually works only with the devoted following of the candidate delivering the biased message.  Spin only addresses a small audience and generally serves to restore confidence in a candidate’s base rather than speak to undecided voters.

            In essence, spin is a form of triage in the political battlefield that is designed to stop the hemorrhaging of a candidate’s support.  Spin should never be used as a long term solution.  In fact the use of spin may not be advisable in any situation because it is often viewed as dishonest.

            For example, a candidate for the United States Senate may have had a very successful fundraiser.  Many dignitaries attended, the open bar was flowing, and everyone had a good time.  The candidate has a lapse of judgment and decides to drive home.  On the way home, the candidate is pulled over for suspected intoxication.  The resulting video is embarrassing as the candidate used the feeble “do you know who I am” line that was clearly recorded on the officer’s camera.  The candidate also refuses any tests to indicate inebriation.

            The following day, that campaign team chooses to spin the story and claims that the Senate candidate was not inebriated but merely tired from a very long day of campaigning.  The campaign attempts to explain the use of the thinly veiled “do you know who I am” threat as the candidate’s effort to merely help the police officer understand what kind of day she had.  The candidate’s devoted followers quickly accept the story, but voters who were previously leaning towards voting for that candidate are now in the “undecided” category.  Stalwarts of the opposition, however, are able to take pot shots at the cover story and use the situation to increase mistrust.

            The “pivot and redirect” method is also a less than optimum choice because the essence of redirecting requires that the candidate does not answer to the negative issue or situation.  Instead, the idea is to distract voters with another issue.  This method may be successful if the issue upon which the candidate can pivot is egregious enough to divert voters.  However, an unanswered situation may revisit the candidate’s campaign at an inopportune time.

            In the situation described above, the same Senate candidate’s campaign chooses the pivot method instead of spin.  In responding to the situation, the campaign creates an elaborate story in which they blame the opposition for falsely tipping the police to their candidate’s whereabouts on the way home from the fundraiser.  In a double-down effort, the campaign points out that there is no evidence of driving while intoxicated since the candidate refused a breathalyzer and invoked the Constitutional right to an attorney.

            In doing this, the candidate provides an opportunity for the opponent to take control of the media.  The question still remains whether or not the candidate did something wrong.  The issue is not closed and can return.  Also, the only audience that will buy into the pivot response are the devotees of that candidate.  Voters who were not solidly in that candidate’s corner are now shaky.

            By owning the issue, however, a campaign takes full control of the media.  The campaign does not hint at the opposition.  The embattled campaign addresses all voters and not just the dedicated followers.

            In the same situation, the Senate campaign holds a press conference the following day to address the traffic stop.  The candidate begins by telling the story of a young person in their state who was recently killed by a distracted driver.  The candidate talks about statistics involving intoxicated drivers, distracted driving, and driving while fatigued or sleepy.  The press conference discusses safe driving and the need for all drivers to be responsible and how to be responsible and respectful when dealing with law enforcement.  The candidate apologizes for the embarrassing use of the “do you know who I am” phrase and to the officer specifically.  Finally, the candidate announces an initiative to address distracted driving while in Washington.

            By taking full ownership of the event, exhibiting contrition, and proposing a solution to a larger problem (remember that the candidate talked about statistics of distracted driving during the press conference), the candidate controlled the issue and possibly turned it into a positive situation.  Not only are the devoted followers still on board, but all voters are listening to the message of the senate candidate.

            The decisions on how to handle difficult scenarios are serious and can impact not only the outcome of the current campaign but the long term political viability of a candidate.  No candidate should address these dire situations without objective, skilled assistance.  The professionals at Gravis Marketing are experienced and trained to handle the most difficult situations.  No matter what situation you are facing, Gravis has been there.  No candidate should go it alone.  Let Gravis stand with you.