“The loveliest theories are being overthrown by these damned experiments; it's no fun being a chemist anymore.”

Justus von Liebig

Research

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PROJECT: GOP Primary Dynamics & The Impact of Advertising (December 6-8)

Evolving Strategies is the first to provide objective, scientific evidence of Newt Gingrich’s vulnerability in the primary race. Some analysts claim Gingrich’s long career means that the public already knows the candidate, and they have priced his negative “baggage” into his stock. Still others argue voters don’t know Gingrich, what he stands for, or what he’s been doing since leaving office.
Click Here for the Full Project Page

Despite his surge and continuing lead in the polls, Gingrich appears highly vulnerable to attack. GOP primary preferences still appear unstable and susceptible to small changes in the flow of information.

  • Gingrich’s support is decimated when respondents are exposed just once to a positive and negative ad about Gingrich. The percentage of respondents picking Gingrich as their first choice in the primary falls more than 15 points, from 42 to 26 percent.
  • Mitt Romney’s negatives seem to be priced in; Romney ads don’t shift his vote share. Romney benefits most from Gingrich’s decline, rising 10 points, from 27 to 37 percent.
  • There are signs of hope for Perry, but he gains only slightly as Gingrich deflates. A first look at the performance of Perry’s 5 positive ads suggests his “Outsider” message is most effective.
  • This suggests that voter opinion in the early caucus/primary states could shift quickly and substantially against Gingrich in the coming weeks as the information flow intensifies and voters tune in to the contest.

 

PROJECT: Who’s Most Electable in the GOP Field? (October 7-11)

ES has the first real evidence of how Cain, Perry and Romney might perform head-to-head with President Obama in the general election.

Most voters still don’t know the GOP field, so we introduced the candidates to a nationally-representative sample of respondents. Using a controlled experimental design, a behavioral voting game and statistical analysis, we produced unique insights into the electability of the GOP’s top contenders. Click Here for the Full Project Page

  • Rick Perry seems to have a significant edge in electability over Romney and Cain, with a 14-point margin of support over President Obama in the Total MoneyVote compared to a -1-point margin for the generic Republican in the Control condition.
  • Herman Cain seems to drive a more positive response to the vote choice compared to the Control, although with many more uncertain voters the final MoneyVote split is nearly identical to the Control condition.
  • Mitt Romney seems to have little or no impact on the MoneyVote compared with the Control condition presenting a generic Republican.

 
 

PROJECT: How Do Perry vs Romney Debate Clips Impact Republican Voters?

ES conducted an online framing experiment to measure how exchanges between Romney and Perry in the Fox News/Google-sponsored GOP debate impacted support for each candidate.

Watch our Impact Overview below, or download the print version. For additional information, read the combined topline results for all conditions.