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The Human Story | Oct. 22, 2020

The Human Story | Oct. 22, 2020

RoundTable

Our latest RoundTable discussion (held October 22, 2020) welcomed back the WTOP News media insiders Mitchell Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, and Joel Oxely and Craig Schwalb, leaders for WTOP News business including political and commercial advertising.

The RoundTable kicked off with a recap of our latest public opinion tracking specifically on the upcoming election: what is the forecast, what is changing (why and among whom), and what it means going forward. As our public policy consultant Erin Norman walked through the data, moderator Maury Giles posed questions to the panel, who expounded on topics such as what we can expect from voter turnout on election day, how the media affects voters perceptions of the candidates, whether or not the presidential debates will have an impact on voters, and how might the new administration affect the division that is growing in our society.

[Watch full video of RoundTable below]

Heart+Mind Pulse

Our biweekly tracker has been gathering data some of the drivers, influences and coalitions of the election for the past few months. With this penultimate tracking wave before election day, patterns are beginning to emerge.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Biden Pulls Ahead: Biden’s lead over Trump has expanded in the last two weeks.  Among likely and actual voters Biden is ahead. But because Biden’s supporters are disproportionately voting early, those who are likely voters, but have not yet voted, are slightly more likely to support President Trump.
  • Conservative Policies Are More Popular:  Despite Biden appearing ahead in the polls, most Americans prefer a more conservative approach to policies regarding jobs, taxes and race relations compared to Biden’s stated platform or the suggestions of the more progressive wing of the party. However, for healthcare, there is a slight preference among Americans and political independents for Biden’s policy to keep the Affordable Care Act but build and improve on it.
  • Settling Into the New Normal:  Seven months into the pandemic, 9 out of 10 Americans have developed new routines that are working for them.  The most common changes have been how folks connect with family members, how they enjoy entertainment, and how food is prepared/eaten.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

WATCH THE ROUNDTABLE

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 10/14-15/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,002 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: October 1, 2020

With the presidential election just weeks away, our biweekly tracker took a look into some of the drivers, influences and coalitions of the election. Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Hope and Optimism Up: For the first time since the pandemic began, there is a large positive shift in values; more Americans are feeling that values such as concern for others, pride, self-esteem and accomplishment are getting better.
  • Americans Nervous About Outbreaks:  After a few months of decline, more people are beginning to expect a second shutdown as result of new outbreaks.  Despite this, a majority still think the government needs to take a balanced approach that considers strengthening the economy, and they are showing by their behavior (increased business travel, going back to school/work, and returning to social life) that they are trying to live with the virus.
  • Enthusiasm FOR Trump Erodes Considerably: Biden’s lead over Trump has expanded in the latter half of September.  Two weeks ago Trump had a clear advantage of being a candidate voters wanted to vote FOR rather than AGAINST.  That advantage has disappeared.
  • Most Want to Wait on Supreme Court Nomination: Over half of Americans believe the Senate should wait to confirm a new Supreme Court justice until after the results of the Presidential Election are known. When selecting a nominee for the Supreme Court, past judicial decisions are seen as the most important factor, religion, race, gender are less important.

Don Neal

Our subsequent RoundTable discussion (held October 8, 2020) shared the the key findings from our tracking data and implications for the election, followed by a discussion on the future of business events.  With so many organizations working remotely, business travel stalled, and in-person meetings/events/trade shows canceled the question is when (if ever) will business events start again? What’s the future and meetings innovation look like? How are businesses adapting?   We heard from two industry insiders:

Don Neal, CEO, 360 Live Media, is an event strategy, marketing and design agency that helps businesses maximize the impact of their events and transform them from in-person to virtual sessions. Don addressed the rapid transformation of events from live to virtual, sharing how businesses are adapting/innovating and if these virtual/hybrid events will stick.

John Schreiber

John Schreiber, Head of Business/Events for Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, leads Las Vegas’ business events, trade shows, and conventions.  As the largest business destination in the world that hosts some of the biggest in-person events such as the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas is on the front lines of the future innovation of business events and travel.  In our Roundtable John addressed the importance of hybrid events, but also the need to get back to in-person when safely possible to do so, sharing what he’s seeing/hearing from Meeting Planners, Business Executives, destinations, and travel industry executives.

[Watch full video of RoundTable below]


Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

WATCH THE ROUNDTABLE

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 9/30-10/1/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,006 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: September 17, 2020

With the presidential election just weeks away, our biweekly tracker took a look into some of the drivers, influences and coalitions of the election. Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Biden Has Slight Leading Edge: Biden continues to lead Trump in the popular vote data, although voters are predicting the race to be extremely close.  It’s anyone’s game.
  • Low Confidence in Mail-in Voting: even though there are unprecedented levels of Americans voting early and by mail, the majority of Americans express little to no trust in the process of mail-in voting.
  • Economy is Top Bi-partisan Issue: Many issues run clearly along party lines (need to return to normal, immigration, and capitalism vs. socialism for the GOP and healthcare, government response to the pandemic and racial tensions for the DEMS), but the US Economy is considered a top issue for voters in both camps.
  • Biden Voters More Likely Voting Against Trump: Biden centers his platform around being the “Not Trump” candidate–and it shows.  A third of Biden voters admit they are only voting for Biden because they are voting against the incumbent.
  • The Angry Trump Voter: When looking at the top emotions in America today, Biden voters are more likely to feel concerned, worried and anxious; whereas Trump voters are more likely to feel angry.

Bill McInturff

J. Toscano

Our subsequent RoundTable discussion featured two of our nation’s top political consultants: Bill McInturff, Co-Founder of Public Opinion Strategies, the largest right-leaning polling company and J. Toscano, Partner at 76 Words, Inc, a diverse political media and production firm behind several of today’s progressive candidates and causes, specializing in veteran, healthcare, environmental and energy issues.

During the course of the discussion McInturff and Toscano fielded questions from both the moderators and RoundTable viewers about both presidential candidates campaign platforms, predictions on upcoming presidential debates, and how the unique dynamics of this particular election year may affect the outcome of the election.  [Watch full video of RoundTable below]


Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

WATCH THE ROUNDTABLE

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 9/16-17/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,008 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: September 3, 2020

After last month’s optimistic outlook, emotions are again turning negative.  The economy is the hot button issue as we head into the final stretch for the national election.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Division Continues: Americans are back to record high levels of thinking the pandemic is “driving us apart.” Concern and worry are high again.
  • Economy a Critical Issue: the state of public health and the US economy are both steady with opinions evenly split between thinking things are excellent/good or thinking things are poor/in crisis.  The economy is considered the most important issue facing our country, and one that will have the most impact on their vote.
  • No Taste for Second Shutdown: Even though half of Americans think the pandemic will have a long-term economic impact, more people doubt there will be another shutdown.
  • Election Still a Toss-Up: Biden is ahead when people say who they plan to vote for, but slightly more people still think Trump will win.
  • Support for Police Force: Adding to law enforcement is a more popular idea than reducing or defunding the police force.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE CHARTS

GET THE DATA

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 9/2-3/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,008 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

VIDEO: Weekly Roundtable–August 27, 2020

On August 27th we reconvened our CEO Panel to discuss recent headlines and public opinion.  Pierre Le Manh of Ipsos North America, Jeremy Sack of LRW/Material and Christopher Wilshire of Egg Strategy joined our co-CEO Dee Allsop to discuss the latest in consumer opinion and behavior.  We also explored the future of research and the ongoing battle between tribalism and unity.

Take a look.

Understanding the Human Story: August 20, 2020

As we close out summer 2020, Americans are expressing some newfound optimism.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • It’s Not So Bad: the economy and public health are seen as getting better.
  • Things Feel Okay: our sense of social order, peace of mind, and success show some significant improvement.
  • Outlook Improving: negative emotions of concern, worry and anxiety drop significantly, while hope and optimism increase.
  • Living Life: travel and daily activities continue a slow march back to normal levels.
  • Shut-Downs a Thing of the Past: Only a third of Americans feel a second shut down is coming – most think shut-downs are behind us.
  • Improved Favorability for the President: increased optimism can be connected to a significant increase in support for President Trump in the upcoming election.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE CHARTS

GET THE DATA

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 8/19-20/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,003 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: August 6, 2020

At this point in the summer Americans are wondering what the “new next” will be.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Potomac Fever: political conditions are realigning; wedge issues have been neutralized; the Biden vote is being energized by negative emotions; squatting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?
  • Impacts Wide, Deep and Very Real: COVID-19 divisions in society are growing while vaccine optimism is rising, but economic and at-home worries persist.
  • Calling Cronkite: trust in the media is the lowest of all institutions; blame for divisions.
  • We Can Do It!: there is little appetite to go back to lockdowns; balance is needed.

Our report with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following link:

GET THE CHARTS

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 8/5-6/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,004 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: July 23, 2020

Americans are learning to live/work/play/learn with the virus.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Despite an increase in cases, and a recognition of that increase, Americans are less likely to believe there will be a second round of sheltering in place.
  • An increasing number are returning to work, personal travel and day-to-day activities like worship services.
  • The personal impact is seen as a long-term problem for the first time in our tracking.
  • Economic outlook of Americans continues to sour.
  • Americans are more cautious, but highly negative emotions like fear and anger are steady.

Our report with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following link:

GET THE CHARTS

GET THE TRACKING DATA

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 7/22-23/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,020 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Thoughts From Our Virtual Roundtable, 06.15

We push pause for one hour each week to talk, share, and listen to 60+ clients and partners who are participating in our Virtual Roundtable. As business leaders, employers, and human beings, this group discusses the impact of the latest COVID-19 developments, and ideas to help each other navigate the changing reality.

These are the topics discussed on June 15th. We hope these can help you and your teams as you make decisions moving ahead.


Implications to Date: Our Top 10 List

  1. Nothing is settled yet. We are not in a “new normal” yet. Don’t plan and don’t communicate like it is.  Yes, things will settle.
  1. Adapt and act. Don’t be afraid to fail with some. Thoughtful action matters right now.  You have a real window to innovate – seek opportunity and not only to manage risk.
  1. But keep your eye on the long-term impact. Short-term, quick fixes are not enough.
  1. Your focus should be on adapting to “living with the virus” rather than “surviving”.  Consider how that framing shifts the way you see your role in the solutions you deploy. 
  1. Macro to micro matters. Needs and reactions can vary widely. Understand the segments that matter in your sector how you need to adapt in delivery in different situations.
  1. Most of the country will take a concerned realist approach to these crises (55%). The rest will emotionally respond in polar opposites – anxiously worried OR hopefully optimistic. This has been the only constant in our data. Find your people on this spectrum and adapt accordingly.
  1. Discover how the fundamentals of the human journey are changing right now in your space (needs, process, and expectations). Map solutions against the role you can play to help people pursue what they are after in a way that is unique and authentic to who and what you are.
  1. Acceleration to digital is obvious. But it isn’t that simple. And it doesn’t work for everyone, especially generational realities. Consider the full experience as you rapidly deploy. Both matter. 
  1. Anger is building. Know where your employees stand. Increase listening posts and provide safe and meaningful outlets for civil dialogue. We’re missing it in most of our institutions. Fill that gap. 
  1. We are facing big issues we won’t solve. But there may be ways to boost a sense of belonging or a respite for peace of mind in the slice of life you control. Find ways to meaningfully help people feel accepted. Do it. Don’t say it.

SURVEY DATA

Please reference the additional documents provided for our weekly tracking data findings and slides that we have shared.

Also, please go to https://heartandmindstrategies.com/covid-19/ to access any of this information at any time. Please feel free to share and use however is most helpful for you.

Understanding the Human Story: June 11, 2020

Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions June 10-11, 2020 via an online survey.

Access the full report here: Download PDF. Please contact us if you would like access to the crosstabs.


NOTE: Findings based on preliminary data.

America Puts More Focus on Economy

Despite rating public health as worse than the economy, Americans once again believe we should be focusing more on a balance of the economy and public health than a sole focus on public health.


“Time to Reopen” Ticks Up

More Americans than ever support relaxing restrictions and stay-at-home order.

While more Americans support reopening, the majority of Americans still believe the coronavirus is a threat.


Americans View on the Impact of Coronavirus

Key expected negative impacts are dropping.

Most expect US economy impact to last over a year.

Half are still hoping for a shorter personal impact.

Many expect travel and large public events to be something they get back to in about half a year or more.

There has been a significant increase in the number of Americans who plan to eat at a restaurant in the next month.


New Behavior That Will Stick

Entertainment and connection with family and friends are routines that are most missed but new behaviors have been formed that many people expect will continue post-COVID.


Faith is Still Important During Pandemic

Four in ten Americans say faith is important to them during the pandemic.  For most, practicing their faith during the outbreak means praying at home.  One in five have been watching worship services online.


Assembly Rights Seen as Dangerous in Current Environment Regardless of Reason

A great majority (81%) believe it is likely that continuing public protests will lead to a spike in cases.


Positive Emotions Are On the Rise

We see an increase in positive feelings of being hopeful, optimistic, determined, and confident.

But there is still a mix of negative emotions.  A third of Americans say they feel “hopeful” (32%) and the same percentage say they feel “anger” (31%) right now.  Only 8% share both emotions.


The Erosion of Unity
More African Americans see unity


Trust Continues to Decline

Trust in the Federal Government declines down to its lowest point since the COVID crisis began in March.

Trust in the WHO also drops to its lowest point.

There is a continuous decline in trust in online search engines and other media, especially broadcast news.


Societal Changes

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who are hopeful because they believe the current situation is providing an opportunity for much needed larger societal change.

African Americans are the most optimistic, compared to other groups.

When contrasted with the severe public health crisis, Americans are wary of allowing protests.

But, in absolute terms, most agree that the right to protest and assemble should not be limited.


Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 6/10-11/2020 via an online survey. Access the full report here: Download PDF.  

Sample: n=1,019 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

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