Monday, October 22, 2012

Obama vs Romney: Reaching People

Deep in the guts of the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll are a couple of questions worth a second look.  They ask respondents if and how they'd been contacted by the Obama and Romney camps.  See the top answers below.

From Romney
  1. Mail (19%)
  2. Telephone calls (11%)
  3. Social media (11%)
  4. Email (9%)
  5. Other personal contact (4%)
  6. None (66%)
  7. Not sure (-)
From Obama
  1. Email (17%)
  2. Mail (16%)
  3. Social media (15%)
  4. Telephone calls (11%)
  5. Other personal contact (5%)
  6. None (61%)
  7. Not sure (1%)
Look at the difference.  Romney goes mail first, Obama goes email first.  That's telling.  Obama's combined email and social media contact numbers (32 percent) far outstrip Romney's (20 percent).  No doubt this reflects the older, more traditional Republican base and how best to reach them, but I'd argue it probably also reflects very different approaches to campaigning by the two sides.  Overall, 38 percent of survey respondents said they'd been contacted in some way by Obama while 34 percent said they'd been contacted by Romney. 

I suspect these are all the same folks, the ones unlucky enough to live in a swing state.

And there's one final lesson here -- often the most interesting questions are buried deep in these surveys.  Yes, that Obama and Romney are tied nationally among likely voters (in this poll) is the news lede, but dig a little and you'll find other gems. 

Proof I'm a PhDweeb -- it's what I do in my spare time.

Monday night is, of course, the last presidential debate between these two candidates, their last time on stage together.  If you're interested, while watching the debate check in at  There'll be a link that'll take you into a chat where I'll join a few others live commenting during the debate. 

Tune in and check out my bourbon-fueled snark.

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