Post-Election 2020 Edition RoundTable

Post-Election 2020 Edition RoundTable

During Heart+Mind’s special Post-Election 2020 Edition of the biweekly RoundTable, panel experts discussed a variety of election day topics such as: why are political polls sometimes wrong, which coalitions showed the largest shifts since 2016 and why, where do the Gen Z voters fall out and what is motivating their vote, and what issues were the biggest drivers in this election. Insights were based on data collected on election day among actual voters as part of the Heart+Mind First View election day survey.

Key takeaways and storylines from the data and the RoundTable discussion include:

Uncertainty continues.  Expect continued electoral uncertainty. Consumer stress from the pandemic and election is running extremely high.

Choice and convenience.  These consumer needs take hold in how we vote. Mail voting is here to stay.

Big realignments are dead. No national realignment.  But we do see micro-coalitions forming. Example: Rural, multicultural, less educated, socially conservative motivated by what they are against.

Tribalism continues.   Divisions amplified beyond party.  Especially by gender, education, ethnicity, and locale.

People over Platform. Don’t assume how humans will behave. Don’t take your voters or customers for granted.

Latino and Youth turnout once again did not materialize. For all the protesting, and when it counted, where were these groups?

Stop thinking of groups as monolithic. Millennials, Women, Latino, Blacks, Republican, Democrat, City vs Rural, etc.

FUDD Works. Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, Division.   Will our stress and anxiety need the message of calm and confidence?

The Senate Club. Don’t underestimate the Joe and Mitch relationship as a way to perhaps get things done in a balanced legislative agenda.

Trust remains the golden ring.  Brands and institutions are under assault.  Expect a renewed effort on reputation management practices and social cause marketing.



Data Source: Heart+Mind First View election day survey, conducted 11/3/20 via online survey

Sample: n=2,005 election day voters

Topics: 2020 election, method of casting vote, presidential race, Senate and House races, Issues motivating the vote including COVID-19, economy, and healthcare, etc.

2020 Presidential Election

Our latest Heart+Mind Pulse tracking data reveals patterns and trends influencing the election, with the majority of voters yet to cast their vote in the next 3 days.

Overall insights indicate a Biden lead, with strong support coming from those who voted early.   Biden has an edge in states where we see softening support for Trump among his historical base of whites without a college degree.  However, Trump’s stronger 2020 performance in the polls among minorities will likely be a key factor in the final results in several must-win states for the Republicans.



Source: Heart+Mind Pulse, biweekly omnibus survey
Interview Dates: October 28-29, 2020
Respondents: n=1,002 Americans, ages 18+

The Human Story | Oct. 22, 2020


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:




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.