PSB’s Duo MaxDiff – A Look at the 2022 Election

June 30, 2023

Politicians, pollsters and pundits are forever trying to assess what issues are most important to Americans. Looking across the vast array of political surveys, the typical questions are “How important is each of these issues to you” or “which of these is most important issue facing the United States” with either scaled or ranked responses. The results look like this, where everything is important or, as is typical, the economy is most important

  • “About two-thirds or more say every issue asked about should be at least an important priority this year [for the President and Congress to address].” Pew, Jan 2023
  • “Polling shows that most voters say economic concerns are top of mind” CNN, Nov 2023 (plus similar headline from almost every other news organizations and poll)

Research that PSB conducted the week leading up to the November 2022 elections included typical scaled and ranked questions, as well as using our Duo MaxDiff – the findings using the Duo MaxDiff pointed to very different outcomes than were predicted at the time.

Rob Kaiser and David James from PSB (bios below) led the research and developed the findings. A recorded version of their presentation is here. The PSB’s Duo MaxDiff, A look at the 2022 Election includes:

  • An overview of traditional scaled and ranked metrics in election polling and their inherent limitations as well as how these relate to broader polling/research challenges
  • The benefits of including choice-based approaches over ratings
  • Our November 2022 study – 3 celled design: scaled, ranking, Duo MaxDiff
  • PSB’s Duo MaxDiff – what it is, how it works
    • Results with Scaled and ranking – the economy is on top of the list with Republicans having a slight advantage over Democrats of performing better on the issue
    • Duo MaxDiff – economy-related issues are very important but there is little perceived difference between the two parties
  • Other benefits of using a Duo MaxDiff:
    • Integrated Duo MaxDiff – applications for tracking over time
    • Segmentation – results from this study were used to generate several segments
Total time ~35 minutes

Rob Kaiser, EVP Advanced Analytics. Rob has over 20 years of experience as a methodology expert and has been directly involved in the design, execution and analysis of projects related to brand strategy, product development, pricing, customer loyalty, and behavioral analytics. Rob has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. He is a recognized statistics and methodology expert and has taught graduate level Marketing Research at UCLA Anderson School of Business. He has taught Statistics for the UCLA Psychology department and Marketing Research at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

David James, Senior Vice President. David has over 20 years of experience working on various political, non-profit and corporate accounts. David has been involved with a wide array of clients, methodologies, and approaches during his time at PSB, bringing many new approaches to the company’s clients to help them understand key perceptions and identify emerging trends to develop more effective strategies. David graduated from the University of Utah where he earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science.

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