April 9, 2019 Press Releases and Announcements

2020 Voter Enthusiasm Already at Election-Day Levels


by GU Politics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            

April 9, 2019                                                                                   

Contacts: Kirsten Kukowski
608-335-8785
kk@k2andcompany.com

Lauren Mullins
202-550-5999
Lauren.Mullins@georgetown.edu                                                                                           

2020 Voter Enthusiasm Already at Election-Day Levels
New GU Politics Battleground Poll Finds Eighty-Two Percent
of Voters "Extremely Likely” to Vote

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – 2020 voters are already engaged at levels usually not seen until days before a contested election, according to the new Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Poll.

The poll found that eighty-two percent (82%) of voters indicate that they are extremely likely to vote. The poll also found no partisan enthusiasm gap between Republicans (85% extremely likely to vote) and Democrats (83% extremely likely to vote). The survey of 1,000 registered voters also confirmed a highly polarized electorate and revealed clear opportunities and challenges for both major political parties as the 2020 campaign begins.

The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Poll is a national bipartisan survey measuring political opinion and civility among registered voters in the United States. A reliable tool for measuring voter sentiment and opinion, the poll has been conducted by Republican pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners since 1991, with each offering their own unique analysis of the data.  This is the first time it has been housed at the Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

Republican Analysis
“We are again looking at an election with a highly engaged and deeply partisan and divided electorate.  Campaigns will be won by persuading voters about which issues are of most importance and by capitalizing on advantages on these issues. For Republicans those issues are jobs, the economy, and national security,” said Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group. “President Trump will look to replicate the dynamics of the 2016 campaign – driving up the negatives of his opponents and driving up the intensity of his base supporters. While significant numbers of voters are troubled his persona and rhetoric, a majority of voters approve of his work on the economy and jobs and see him as superior to the Democrats in handling these issues.”

As the Battleground Poll continues, it will examine two broad questions as we learn from 2016: (1) will voters also hold a negative view of the Democratic nominee when they walk into the voting booth to vote, as was the case with Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Election Day, and (2) will a majority of those voters holding negative views of both Presidential nominees again decide that President Trump is their best option.

Democratic Analysis
“Given the high levels of dissatisfaction with the direction of the country and the country’s political leaders, the American electorate remains fundamentally change-oriented. And while the President’s unpopularity certainly continues to present opportunities for the Democratic Party moving forward, attacking Trump will not be enough, particularly with a significant number of voters seemingly able to reconcile their misgivings about Trump with positive ratings of his handling of the economy,” said Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. “As 2020 continues to come closer into focus, Democrats will be best served by advancing an audacious, forward-thinking agenda that takes on the powerful special interests and delivers real change for the American people.”

Civility in Politics
In addition to traditional polling questions related to U.S. electoral politics and voter attitudes, the new Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Poll will also gauge voter opinion on the state of civility in our national political conversation. The results of this portion of the first poll will be announced on April 24th.

“Both the Republican and Democratic analyses paint a picture of a very energized electorate, but one that’s very tribal. Partisan voters appear to be standing by the institutions they identify with, and are increasingly frustrated with those they don’t,” said Mo Elleithee, Executive Director of the Institute of Politics and Public Service.  “We’re excited that with this new partnership, the Battleground Poll will start measuring trends about how this polarized environment is impacting voter attitudes on political civility and discourse, and examine questions like who voters blame, how it impacts politics, and whether they even consider it a priority.”

The poll will continue to offer unique insights and analysis from Ed Goeas and Celinda Lake, two top pollsters from differing sides of the aisle. Followers of the poll will also have the opportunity to attend events and witness exclusive focus groups of Georgetown University students from across the country.

See the questionnaire, charts, tables and analysis here: http://politics.georgetown.edu/the-battleground-poll

Academics, researchers and journalists can also access the full data set to assist in their own research and analyses.  [Note: Any use of this data and material must credit the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Poll.]

About the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Poll:
The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service Battleground Poll is a national bipartisan survey measuring political opinion and civility among registered voters in the United States. Produced by Republican strategist Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic strategist Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners, this polling series offers unique polling analysis and insights from two top pollsters from different sides of the aisle.

Initiated in June 1991, and housed at GU Politics since April 2019, the Battleground Polls have gained widespread media recognition as reliable bellwethers of national opinion and voters’ intentions. The Battleground data projected the outcome of the 1992, 1996, and 2004 presidential race more precisely than any other similar effort in the country, including those of the major TV networks and national newspapers. In addition, Battleground Polls have consistently been major predictors of what is going to happen in approaching Congressional elections.

About the Institute of Politics and Public Service:
The Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) connects and empowers students and the community in an effort to improve and reimagine politics and public service and reaffirm its promise. Founded as part of Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy in the fall of 2015, GU Politics programming is open to the entire community.

About the McCourt School of Public Policy:
The Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy is a top-ranked public policy school located in the center of the policy world in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to teach our students to design, analyze, and implement smart policies and put them into practice in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, in the U.S. and around the world.

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