Palin Continues to Create Stronger Emotional Connections Between McCain and Voters According to a New by SenseUS™ Emotional Response Polling
Voters feel a stronger emotional connection to John McCain than Barack Obama, according to a new study by SenseUS™ Emotional Response Polling. The two are eight degrees apart on the Emotional Temperature Scale of all voters and 23 points apart among Independents. Among all four candidates from the two major parties, Sarah Palin has the strongest emotional connection.
Both McCain and Obama have strengthened their connections with voters since April 2008, but McCain has done so more intensely. This is partially due to strong feelings about Palin. Obama running mate Joe Biden showed the weakest emotional connection with respondents. This did not take away from Obama’s strength; it merely failed to add momentum.
The Republican Party has shown a steep increase in enthusiasm for McCain since April, indicating that it has rallied behind him, and members will likely vote in record numbers.
While Obama remains strong with Democrats, the Party shows less enthusiasm for him than Republicans do for McCain, which could prove to be a vulnerability in November unless rectified.
Independents currently feel more connected overall to McCain than to Obama, once again likely due to a strong connection with Palin. As far as individual issues, this crucial sector identifies more closely with McCain on the Iraq War and Obama on healthcare.
In trying to sway independent voters, the candidates have a major opportunity on the issue of the economy. While McCain has a slight lead over Obama, neither has emerged as a clear leader. In view of recent economic developments, whichever candidate takes the lead on this issue may earn the edge with Independents.
Not quite as effective with swaying voters, negative campaign ads were shown to undermine the parties’ confidence in their own candidate, while failing to bolster support for the ad’s sponsor. These have the greatest (but still little) effect on Independents. Of the four negative ads (two Anti-McCain and two Anti-Obama) examined, the only one to significantly better the standing of the sponsor was an Obama ad which challenged and disproved McCain’s assessment that the country is better off than it was eight years ago.
All the polling results can be found at http://senseus.net.
SenseUS™ uses the AdSAM® technique of emotional response and the Itracks gathering system.
Jon Morris, PhD