Advertising Technology Advertising Technology, Insights, Product | June 1, 2016

Climate Change, Gun control and Foreign Policy: Understanding Which Presidential Topics Affect Voters

With the US Presidential election inching towards November’s finale, we wonder if Bernie Sanders’ “A Political Revolution Is Coming”, slogan will win American hearts and give him the advantage. Or what are the odds of Hillary Clinton becoming the next president of the United States, making her the most powerful woman in the world?

To understand the Democratic camp better, and whether Hillary or Bernie Sanders will rise as the favorite candidate in the Democratic primary, we analyzed data on both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders through Elevate. By using Elevate – our brand measurement solution that allows political parties to understand voter activity and their affinity towards each party, we found interesting differences in insights.

We found that audience profiles for both Hillary and Bernie Sanders were distinctive not only in the age groups, education and employment choices, but even in the topics that affected them.

Profile of Voters: Hillary Clinton Vs. Bernie Sanders

While Hillary Clinton excels among older voters, belonging to affluent positions such as Law and Biotechnology, Bernie Sanders appeals to the youth the most, and less affluent voters belonging to manufacturing and service sectors.

Hillary’s championing on women issues in this presidential election, has gained her an advantage with women 8% more likely to vote for her over Sanders.


Key takeaways: Even if you’re a brand, speak the language of the masses. With Bernie’s voters being mostly young, Hillary’s political marketers could create messaging to target this audience group.

For example, Jacob, a secondary level student, a moderate Democrat who is contemplating his decision to vote for Bernie, could be targeted via cross device.

Jacob can get a message reinforced on display (“ Hillary for America!”), a mobile “nudge” to take action when we see Jacob on his tablet at night (“Hillary needs you now more than ever chip in to stand with her!”) and follow-up with a creative to Hillary’s personalized contribution page (“Chip in to stand with Hillary!”).

People who like Bernie also like certain TV shows and websites, support certain causes, and are active on social media. Our data suggests that Bernie’s voters are most likely to download movies; bank at Chase, and are most likely to shop at Trader Joe’s.

Voters for Bernie: Sites they visit
  • Education & student:,
  • Left Wing Politics:,
  • Specialist news & causes:,,
  • Viral/social content

Political marketers can leverage this data to build support for Hillary on such site domains through programmatic advertising.

Top 5 issues for voters and whom they will vote for


When it comes to issues like abortion, foreign policy and gun control, Hillary Clinton has an advantage over Sanders, with voters interested in these topics, choosing to vote for Hillary over Sanders.

On the issue of abortion, Hillary wants to build on Obama’s pro-abortion record, and has emphasized that ‘Planned Parenthood’ should be funded, supported and protected, and not undermined, misrepresented and demonized. Hillary Clinton also has a clear advantage in issues relating to foreign policy and national security. She has been the first prominent Democratic presidential candidate to openly run on a gun-control platform. Her stance on holding gun manufacturers liable for deaths caused by their products, expanding background checks and prohibiting those on no-fly list from purchasing firearms have given her a competitive edge over Sanders.

On the other hand, issues like climate change and social rights have voters clearly swaying towards Sander’s advantage.

Bernie’s promise to combat climate change, making sure our planet is habitable for future generations, and creating a clean-energy workforce of 10 million good-paying jobs by creating a 100 percent clean energy system, has voters interested in this topic, voting for him over Hillary.

Bernie Sanders has for long been a front runner in the civil rights movement, which has resonated with voters instantly.

Voter’s professions and which issues affect them


Our Findings:

  • Voters in the education sector are most interested in topics such as abortion and social rights
  • Voters in the age group of 18-34 years are most interested in the social rights issue
  • Though the unemployment rate has fallen to 5 percent, from 7.8 percent when Obama took office in 2009, voters in the manufacturing, emergency and armed services are most interested in this topic, as these sectors were the first ones to lose jobs during recession.
Top 6 issues that affect voters with/without children


Our Findings:

  • Voters without children are most interested in topics such as abortion, climate change and social rights.
  • Healthcare garnered high interest in voters with children above 16 years than other age groups.
Top 5 Geographies of Voters

While voters in Vermont and Maine are clearly in favor of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton clinched a decisive victory over Bernie Sanders in New York and North Dakota as voters in these areas favor her the most.

Key takeaway: Political marketers for Hillary should focus their messaging in geographies most likely to vote for Bernie, through hyper local targeting.

With the US Presidential elections heating up, will Sanders’ young supporters give him that clear win, or will Hillary’s stance on women issues, and resonation with the older age group give her that edge, is yet to be seen.

Our data however, shows a clear distinction in the voters for both these democratic candidates, and political marketers should push the limit in applying big marketing dollars to digital channels, trying to unlock new, mobile-first millennial voters, while persuading undecided voters through programmatic advertising than ever before.

With inputs from Diptarka Roy & Ramya Pingili, Insights Specialists.


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