Undecided Voters in Charlotte, N.C., Offers Views on the Election

    Veteran pollster Peter Hart and Hart Research Associates conducted their sixth focus group of the 2016 election cycle on Tuesday, October 25. They brought together a dozen men and women in Charlotte, N.C., who said that they remained undecided with only two weeks left until Election Day, November 8.

    In his analysis (available below), Hart writes: “Election 2016 ends where it began — an unhappy electorate looking for change, dissatisfied with the choices they had for president.” In the focus group, all of the participants agreed that they did not like either of the presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. They liked the idea of a political outsider, but have been alienated by Trump’s “embarrassing” and sometimes frightening behavior. On the other hand, Hart says, Clinton is seen as untrustworthy and distant, and her “e-mails continue to haunt her with this group of voters.”

    For the majority of the mostly white group, racial issues were not significantly important and they felt that race problems have been somewhat exaggerated, but they acknowledged that there is “work to do to repair and improve race relations in the country,” Hart says. Everyone in the group praised the Obamas, who “emerge as refreshingly esteemed and admired figures unsullied by the ugliness of the 2016 campaign,” particularly First Lady Michelle Obama.

    “The overwhelming message that emerged from each session is that the voters want to turn the page and begin a new chapter with more stability and an opportunity to reestablish America’s standing in the world and to rebuild the shrinking middle class,” says Hart.

    Voices of the Voters” is an ongoing project run by Hart for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, which aims to provide a qualitative sense of what voters are thinking and feeling, and what issues are important to average citizens. Sessions for the 2016 presidential race were conducted in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and Colorado. To read an analysis with key findings of the session from Peter Hart and Corrie Hunt, click here. See below to watch a full video of the focus group session.

    Charlotte focus group on October 25, 2016

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