Emotional Intelligence on the Presidential Election

  • Custom Research

Sentient has officially launched “Emotional Intelligence on the Presidential Election”. This new research destination will measure the impact of candidates and their campaign advertisements prior to the election, releasing results from Sentient’s political implicit studies to gauge the progression of the 2024 presidential election.

Political polls are commonly referenced when predicting or discussing election outcomes, despite their inaccuracy. Explicit surveys only explain a portion of the decision-making process. They may represent a voter’s conscious preference, however, they don’t factor the large emotional weight our irrational side has on decision-making. In other words, people often won’t express, can’t articulate, or don’t have access to their true feelings. The 2016 election results best exemplifies this Can’t Say/Won’t Say dilemma. The social stigma around outwardly supporting Donald Trump and his policies potentially hindered the public from admitting they would vote for him. Studies have proven that what people are willing to say in surveys accounts for a mere 14.3% of the behavioral response. Implicit techniques can capture valuable insights left undiscovered by traditional polling.

While challenging to follow political polling given how rapidly events and the social sphere change sentiments, combining explicit data with implicit is a more accurate method of predicting behavior. Sentient’s proprietary method to combine the two provides the most accurate and highly predictive results–uncovering correlations that would not have been detectable by either method alone. Sentient has tested this methodology for political polling during the 2016 and 2020 elections providing historical proof of its validity and use-value. For 14 of the primaries in 2016, our combined model for research was more accurate in 80% of the cases. Our technology pinpoints the moments in advertising that change voter’s minds, uncovering the implicit associations and appeal voters have toward candidates. This is a great study to learn how the public feels on current issues facing the country now and right up to the election. The importance of this research is its revelation on the impact political campaigns have on influencing the opinions of voters.

As several candidates announce their intentions to enter the race, we are using our technology to track changes in Implicit Emotional Appeal with the key Democratic and Republican contenders over time. Throughout the next year until Election Day, Sentient will provide frequent updates with relevant advertising and messaging examples to assess which candidates are truly preferred and determine how rankings develop. Sentient will also discover what partisan topics are important to voters progressively to contextualize and correlate candidate success.

On a brand strategy level, Sentient’s analyses of political advertisements allow campaign teams to understand what candidate messaging and positioning resonates with the audience. At a societal level, our research improves the accuracy of election predictions as well as delivers results on how people feel and why. To get involved in our studies and stay up to date on election events, check out our political research.
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