The Democratic National Convention was held virtually from the 17th to the 20th of August, leading to the formal nomination of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the Democratic candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. As part of our research into the 2020 Presidential Election, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies monitored the public’s engagement with the Democratic National Convention in our latest US poll. Overall, 23% of respondents said they followed the Democratic National Convention closely, with a further 44% saying they somewhat followed it.
Respondents over the age of 65 were the least likely (60%) to at least somewhat follow the Democratic National Convention, and 25-to-34-year olds were the most likely to at least somewhat follow it (77%). Likely Biden voters were more likely to follow the Convention either closely (33%) or somewhat closely (53%) than likely Trump voters, of whom 14% followed it closely and 39% followed it somewhat closely. It remains to be seen whether likely Biden voters will follow the GOP National Convention this week and if it will lead to any sustained voting intention shift.
Notably, respondents who did not know who they were voting for were the least likely to follow the Democratic National Convention, with 15% following it closely and 30% following it somewhat closely. Those who were more certain about who they were voting for were also more likely to watch the Convention compared to those who were less certain. Indeed, 72% of those who were extremely certain about who they were voting for followed the event, compared to just 52% who were not at all certain.
Michelle Obama’s keynote speech, delivered on the first night, received the most social media interactions out of any of the speeches at the Convention. In our poll, 48% of respondents had watched her speech, including 64% of likely Biden voters, 36% of likely Trump voters, and 30% of undecided voters.
In her speech, Michelle Obama claimed that President Trump has failed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, saying he was “clearly in over his head, he cannot meet this moment.” Three-quarters (75%) of respondents who watched her speech approved of it, with only 15% of those who watched it disapproving. An overwhelming 96% of likely Biden supporters approved of Michelle Obama’s speech. Significantly, 35% of likely Trump voters who watched Michelle Obama’s speech also approved of the former First Lady’s comments.
Over the course of four days, events from the Democratic National Convention received 122 million live views and Biden’s campaign received over $70 million in donations. Our research has indicated that the Convention may have boosted the Democrats’ campaign: Biden’s lead over Trump has increased by 3% compared to last week. This week, President Trump will attempt to use the GOP’s convention as a springboard for his own campaign. Redfield & Wilton Strategies will continue to monitor the attitudes of the US public as the 2020 Presidential Campaign enters into its final stretch.