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The Collision of Politics and Entertainment

Tue, Oct. 13, 2015 | By: Tremor Video

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How much attention are consumers devoting to the presidential race, while the election is still more than a year away? As the debates heat up in terms of frequency and substance, we polled our panel to see where where voters stand on this issue.

Our survey of more than 450 Tremor Video Playback Panel respondents revealed three major themes:

Televised debates do matter.
Almost 70% of Americans indicate that candidates’ TV debate performance is important in helping them decide who to vote for in the primary. Interestingly, the majority of Americans consider the presidential race a kind of entertainment program, somewhere between a big reality show, a soap opera, and a great comedy; only 4 in 10 Americans think it’s an important news event.

In terms of viewership, slightly more Americans plan to watch the first Democratic debate live compared to the third Republican one (47% vs. 42%). But that’s still lower than the 57% of people that had planned to watch the second GOP debate. Good thing these viewers aren't making campaign promises.


Topics of interest differ greatly by demographics.
Millennials are more interested in seeing social issues such as gun control, women’s health, and education covered during this week’s debates. Older adults (35+), on the other hand, are more interested in foreign policy, economy, and immigration.


Joe Biden could amp up the level of excitement around this presidential race.
4 in 10 Millennials would be more likely to watch the Democratic debate if Joe Biden were to make a surprise appearance. In fact, 41% of Millennials would be more interested in the race vs. 34% for the total population if he were to run.


Source: Tremor Video’s Playback Panel, Oct. 8-11, 2015. Among 457 adults 18–64 who regularly watch digital video.

Topics: Consumer Insights, Vertical Research

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