MSN Polling: Shifts in Interest

I continue to enjoy exploring MSN's polling module, and we have done some very interesting work in 2018 learning how the polling data can enhance understanding of the MSN users. But, MSN polling also offers one simple and exciting attribute: the ability to do repeated, fast polling, at scale. For about 30 minutes each week, since August 14, we had a few political questions pop up on the front-page: we got an average of 20,524 completes.

It is unsurprising that people claimed to talk about politics more as we approached Election Day, but look at that peek closely, it occurs four and five weeks early during the Kavanaugh hearings. Specifically we were tracking: “In the past week, how often did you talk about politics?​”. And the percent of people that answered either “Several times a day” or “Daily” showed the incredible impact of the Kavanaugh hearings. Also, notice the gulf between Democrats and Republicans and how it narrows around the Kavanaugh hearing, but widens at the end. Further, only in the two key weeks of the Kavanaugh fight did women claim to talk about politics more than men!

Democrats really did a good job in getting the message to their voters that they should consider healthcare the top issue of the campaign. "Which of these issues matter to you most?​": healthcare moved steadily, monotonically, upwards for the Democrats during the cycle. Similarly, Republicans saw a bounce in immigration, at the end, but notice it was flagging until President Trump created the "caravan" narrative. Further, Republicans are much more likely to care about healthcare, than Democrats about immigration. And, not shown on the chart, support for reduced immigration was flat during this time. But, support for option to buy Medicare jumped a few percentage points mainly on the strength of independents supporting the key Democratic policy.