New AudienceSCAN Research Reveals Nearly 1 In 4 U.S. Adults Are Completely Turned Off By Politics This Year

Mobile use by those completely turned off by politics

AudienceSCAN® , a division of SalesFuel®, announces the release of its 2016 research, delivering vital purchase intent and psychographic data for consumer marketers and sales forces across all industries.

The company surveyed more than 15,000 U.S. consumers this year as it does each year, setting out to get insights into future customers’ purchase intent, personal goals, shopping motivations, and more for the next 12 months.

But this year, the research revealed something interesting and not seen by the company before. More than 22% self-​describe as “completely turned off by politics.”

In this election year, SalesFuel’s fresh survey data reveals this significantly large group has lower incomes and many don’t have children.  They’re also somewhat an oxymoron behaviorally, in that many admit to researching candidates.

This group is 48% more likely than the average U.S. adult to have researched a political candidate's views online within the past six months – suggesting they care, but don’t like what they see from the 2016 race so far,” says C. Lee Smith, CEO of SalesFuel.  “Marketers and local business owners alike may want to steer clear of referencing the election — one misinterpreted image or comment, no matter how innocent, can easily repel almost half of your potential customer base.”

Data points from this year’s study include:

  • 22.1% of U.S. adults are "completely turned off by politics"
  • 42% are 18–34 years old
  • 42% have household income under $50,000
  • 10.2% are single, but cohabiting with a significant other, which is 62% more likely than the average U.S. Adult 18+
  • 50.2% have no children living in the home
  • They are 50% more likely than the average adult to comment on a blog, message board or news story in the past 30 days
  • 20% more likely to view CNN regularly, 21% more likely to watch MSNBC and 14% more likely to watch Fox News regularly than the average S. adult
  • 26% more likely to use Twitter (40.5% of S. Adults online)
  • 75% more likely to take a selfie and post it to social media
  • 75% more likely to watch a live sporting event online
  • Political candidates should take note that when asked “Where have you seen/​heard an ad in the past 30 days that led you to take action?” The responses were as follows: 
    • Ads/​Coupons in your mailbox — 38.8%
    • Television (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) — 38.6%
    • Sponsored search result (like on Google, Yahoo or Bing) — 32.1%
    • Ad on a social network — 31.1%
    • Emailed ad or newsletter — 30.8%
    • Mobile smartphone app or text message — 30.5%
Smartphone use by those turned off by politics. Click here for infographic.

Smartphone use by those turned off by politics. Click here for infographic.

The presidential election is also a tricky topic for salespeople as well”, Smith says. “Some of your accounts will want to talk about it. But getting into a heated political debate won’t change their vote and may cost you the sale. Be prepared with politically neutral responses that can redirect the conversation back to improving their business.”

Beth Frederick
Beth is the Vice President of Marketing at SalesFuel. She has over 20 years of experience client-​side, agency-​side and for one of the largest media companies in North America.