Preparation for Focus Group



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MPA 505 Week 8


  1. Preparation for Focus Group

Campaign 2000 Focus Group

Des Peres, Missouri





Peter Hart *

Mark


Barbara

[Conference table with cookies in center and name cards for attendees]



Bob /Robert


Alene

Ray


Karen

Chris


Elmer

Jim


Dennis

Pam

Diana

*Pollster for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal


This focus group was to understand how middle class voters in the American Midwest were processing the Bush and Gore campaigns. Peter Hart of NBC News and the Wall Street Journal hosted the group meeting.
Prior to the meeting you are seeing, the polling staff seeks to get a demographic profile of the community’s voting population. The focus group is designed to mirror that population. In addition, the staff puts together a series of open-ended and closed ended questions for respondents.
View- Part 1 Peter Hart in Missouri

What is unique about campaign 2000?”


First Survey-- Name, what you do, how important is presidential vote and who is your political hero?

Name

What you do

Importance of presidential vote

Political hero

Mark

Physical Education teacher

60%

Reagan

Bob

Retired, Was Educator

40%

Jack Kennedy

Ray

Banking

50%

John Kennedy


Chris


Tool and Dye

33%

No hero

Jim

Retired from Social Work

40%

John Kennedy

Diana

Nurse Practitioner

50%

John Kennedy

Pamela

Sales

50%

Martin Luther King Jr.


Dennis Maxwell

Stock and Insurance Broker


50%

Dwight Eisenhower

Elmer

Investment firm

50%

Doesn’t have one; Bill Clinton


Karen

Retired, part-time in retail

25%

Harry Truman

Alene

Retired teacher

50%

R. Reagan


Barbara

Receptionist

50%

Bill Clinton




  1. What 2 or 3 important things do I (Hart) need to know about election?



  1. What about the Presidential election 2000 is unique?




  1. What is it about Hart’s approach that initially facilitates the focus group’s discussion?


View Part 2




Students focus on information for either Gore or Bush

A. Focus on Al Gore [term not shared with respondents]



  1. Assume Al Gore is President 4 years from now. What will be different? What will be better?


  1. Here is a list of issues: Select 2 or 3 that are most important to you and 2 that are least important. [Place name on paper]




Tax cuts

Gun Issues

Abortion

Crime

Health care

National Defense

Welfare reform

Foreign Policy

Social security

Supreme Court Nominations

Race Relations

Education

Environment

Moral Values




  1. Education. What do you want done?



  1. Moral values as most important?



  1. Tax cuts as important?



  1. Abortion? What is your position on abortion?



  1. Health Care?



  1. Social Security?




  1. National Defense?



  1. Supreme Court Appointments?



  1. Crime? – What should be done? What is the difference between the candidates?



  1. Anyone have an issue we haven’t given “voice” to?




  1. What are the best qualities of Al Gore?



    1. What do you feel less than certain about Al Gore? What would make you feel more comfortable about [Gore] him?



    1. What must he do to indicate he deserves your vote?


  1. Al Gore’s Presidency is going to be most like_____ which President that you can think of?



  1. What did you learn about Al Gore by his choice of Joe Lieberman?



  1. Al Gore in 4 and ½ years has lost re-election. Why?

B. Focus on George W. Bush [term not shared with respondents]



    1. Irrespective of what side you are on, what are [Bush] his best assets? Qualities?

a- How many of you think George W. Bush is charismatic?





    1. Does [Bush] his selection of Dick Cheney tell you anything about [Bush] him? Has it helped you gain an insight?


    1. Four and ½ years from now George Bush has lost re-election. Why?

a. Anything about him we can see now that will cause him to loose?




    1. Give one piece of advise to George W. Bush?

C. Situational Analysis [term not shared with respondents]


Given the following situations-- who would you prefer as President and why?


    1. Potential shut down of the government and major standoff between the President and the Congress over the budget. In that situation whom would you prefer as president, Al Gore or George Bush?


    1. There is a major natural disaster (hurricane, flood, earthquake) and country needs a sense of reassurance and needs organizational skills to mobilize disaster relief. Who would you prefer Al Gore or George Bush?



    1. There is a serve economic downturn and the country is headed into an economic recession (interest rates are going up and unemployment is going up) and need to deal with downturn in the economy. Who will handle it better?




    1. Major international crisis with major foreign power and obviously means the highest levels of government “hot-lining” use (not nuclear threat) but major confrontation and how it is handled will determine what is going to happen from here on. Who do you want to handle, Al Gore or George Bush?

D. The Final Question


In the end, someone wins. Say something about your vote. What is the message you would like to send with your vote? What message are you sending?

View of campaign for Gore


View of campaign for Bush



  • Debrief narrator’s role and behavior.



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