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But will Romney’s statement matter, and how much?
Now, this question is probably impossible to answer completely. Even if it does impact the race, the effect would likely be so small compared to other factors that we’d be hard-pressed to find evidence of it amidst all the sound and fury of world and domestic affairs.
There is one way, however, to determine objectively and precisely how bad the clip is for Romney when people are exposed to it; we can run a message experiment, or a PocketTrial as we call them at ES.
It’s like running a controlled, clinical drug trial, but we’re testing the impact of the clip on the vote and favorability instead of a drug’s impact on, say, blood pressure.
Using this double-blind and fully controlled experimental design, we can quantify the true impact of the clip on a voter at the time of exposure. And since we collect demographic and political information at the same time, we can determine whether the clip is impacting particular voters more than others, or impacting them in different ways.
We found just such differences in a recent test of pro and anti-Romney ads in the wake of the Ryan pick. Surprisingly, we found that the ads impacted men much more (in both directions) than women. Men seemed to be most in play for the campaigns.
So, what do you think . . . Do you think being exposed to the Romney “47% Clip” will move swing voters significantly? Will men, women, rich, or poor respond differently?
And do you think we should we test the clip, or is it too much of a flash in the pan? Should we test something else, like Romney’s new ads?
Let me know what you think would be most interesting . . . .