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Tech Survey IV Politics/Election 2008

Tech IV Politics

March 2008

PoliticsThe Highest Voter Turnout Of All Time?

Our new Media/Technology Web Poll IV confirms incredibly strong interest in the upcoming Presidential Election among fans of Rock, Classic Rock, and Alternative radio stations. Overall, 84% of its more than 27,000 respondents say they plan to vote in the Presidential contest in November.

Here Are More Highlights:

Party Affiliation

As for their party affiliations, three in ten describe themselves as Democrats (30%), while nearly one-fourth identify their politics as Republican (22%). Notably, one-fifth (21%) call themselves Independents. And 26% either name a different party, prefer not to answer, or simply refuse to categorize themselves as a member of any political party.

Women and fans of Alternative radio skew toward the Democratic side of the aisle, while men and Classic Rockers lean Republican.

And The Winner Is...

Instead of pairing off the Democratic and Republican frontrunners with one-another, the survey simply asked a flat-out beauty contest question about overall Presidential candidate preference.

Among those who say they are likely to vote, Barack Obama won the total vote, garnering more than one-fourth of those planning on casting a ballot in the election (26%). John McCain came in second (22%), followed by Hillary Clinton (18%), Mike Huckabee – still in the race at that time (6%), and Ron Paul (5%). Interestingly, Ralph Nader who was a last-minute addition before the poll went to the field captured 1% of the overall vote.

Obama is a strong choice among Alternative fans (four in ten support him), along with more than one-third of 18-34 year-olds. He also wins the 25-54 segment, but McCain runs a close segment among this older audience. Clinton scores best among women (although Obama edges her out). McCain is the top choice for the Oval Office for men and Classic Rock partisans.

*Based on those who plan to vote

There was a fair share of “write-in” votes. Mickey Mouse was the choice of 11 respondents, while Ted Nugent was written in by three members of the Rock sample.

For radio stations that often avoid the political arena for fear that these discussions may be polarizing to the audience, these results suggest that listeners representing broad ages, geographies, and format choices are very much engaged by the Presidential contest.

There is an art to being able to discuss, parody, and deal with elections, and this one is no exception. As we know, emotions are running high – and not just Democrats versus Republican, but also Obama versus Hillary. Handling these issues with a sense of style, humor, and fairness is going to be important over the next several months. We urge programmers to work closely with their personality shows to find the right tone, angles, and treatments. And please turn to us for consulting and ideas about the best ways to accomplish this.

Stations that purchased their local market breakouts now have a solid guide to share with members of the airstaff. A look at individual results from many markets around the U.S. indicates that party and Presidential choices vary – in some cases, widely – depending on factors ranging from geography, format, and probably even the views of local talent. This type of data reaffirms the importance of surveying a station’s loyal listeners on topics that transcend music tastes, DJ popularity, and contest prize preferences. Knowing more about the important details of audience tastes, desires, and in this case, political views are key insights that can translate directly to programming applications and treatments.

About The Jacobs Media Tech Survey IV

Jacobs Media’s Media/Technology Web Poll IV is the largest national study of its kind. It was conducted in late February/early March 2008, among more than 27,000 respondents from 69 Rock-formatted radio stations in the U.S., representing markets as diverse as Los Angeles, Knoxville, Buffalo, and Boston. This is the fourth annual poll conducted among Rock radio listeners who are members of station email clubs. Participating stations represent Mainstream/Active, Classic Rock, and Alternative formats.

This is a web poll, and cannot replicate all radio listeners or even all Rock radio listeners. As with all Internet-based research studies, the results reflect only those who chose to participate. Still the nearly 70 stations that invited their listeners to take this survey comprise a broad cross-section of Rock listeners from large and small markets, as well as those that play the newest Rock releases and those that exclusively feature Classic Rock.

For more information, contact:
Fred Jacobs
Paul Jacobs