• Focus Groups

Focus Group Report: The Midterms Were Not Top of Mind For Lower-Motivated Voters One Week After the Election

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

Key takeaways

  • The midterm elections were not top of mind, and few could recall which party won control of each chamber.
  • Abortion was seen as a driving issue in the midterm elections to these participants, with important nuances on how important the issue was to their vote.
  • The parties diverge dramatically on priorities and hopes for Washington.
  • For non-voters, voting is not inconvenient, but rather pointless or suspicious.

Midterms Are Not Top of Mind When Thinking About the Country

In Fact, Not Many Can Recall the Impact on Control

Abortion Seen As a Driving Issue for the Midterms

Though Participants Have Nuanced Views on How Important Abortion Is to Them Personally

Participants Agree That Divided Control Will Lead to Gridlock

People Want Collaboration From Washington, Along With Health Care and Inflation Relief

Republicans Want to Stop Biden

When Deciding Whether to Vote, Republicans Invariably Think About Election Integrity

Democratic Non-Voters are Fatalistic About Whether Voting Makes a Difference

Even Some Non-Voters Struggle With Not Voting and Agree “You Can’t Complain” if You Don’t Vote

Reminders to Vote Are Merely Tolerated

Ticket-Splitters Cite Candidate Specific Motivations Rather Than Abstractions

Trump Is Not Much of A Factor and Even His Fans Are Not Excited About Him Running Again

About The Study

GBAO conducted three online focus groups on November 16, 2022 with low motivation Democrats in North Carolina, low motivation Republicans in Arizona, and ticket splitters in battleground states. Some quotes have been lightly edited for brevity. Qualitative results are not statistically projectable.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org