Real time data from the VP debate Pence vs Harris. How did it go?

As announced in our previous blog and following up on the Vice Presidential debate between Harris and Pence, we want to share with you some interesting results from a survey that we launched in real time, while the debate was going on live.

The poll was launched on our Embee panel, collecting real people opinions as the event was unfolding. Another important aspect to mention here is that the survey did not advertise its subject matter, so there is no selection bias in the results.

Many of media outlets today were consolidating over the option that the debate did not shake up the presidential race and that there were many false and misleading claims made by both sides.

But our curiosity and ability to ask what real people think led to us to running this insightful project. Without further ado will take a look at some key findings, based on 1,511 survey results.

So, who watched the debate?

As evident from the chart below, only 54% of those that completed the survey watched the VP debate. This is significantly more than what we found out when we did a similar survey for the first Presidential debate, where only 40% of those who took part in our poll said they watch the arguments between the two candidates.

Of those that completed the VP debate survey, men were more likely to have watched it then women. When we look at the age gap, we see that those who are over 55 years old as well as the 25 to 34 ones were most likely to have watched it. The battleground states attracted more viewers and the Bidden/Harris supporters were also more eager to sit in front of the TV and follow the debate.

Swing in the voting intentions?

The purpose of each debate is to preserve and even win more voters. So next we asked people who would they have voted BEFORE and AFTER the debate.

Based on the data we collected, Republicans “lost” 6% of those that were thinking of voting for Trump, while Democrats lost 5% of those initially intending to cast a vote for Biden. One may look at the charts above and say that there isn’t a big difference and those that have made up their minds did stick with their pollical orientation. However, when we put this into perspective and look at all of the 230M eligible to vote US citizens, 1% is not that insignificant, as it represents 2,3M voters and can make a difference.

Who won the debate?

We were also curious to find out who people think won the debate? And no, it was not not the big fly on Pence’s head, although many media outlets found that amusing and have been reporting on it today.

Across all demographic segments such as gender and age, Harris has been the undisputed winner in the first Vice Presidential Debate. Over 50% of both male and female thought that Harris did better job, while only 31% backed up Pence in the same question. Even in the Red States, as voted in 2016, there was only 2% difference in favour of Pence dominating the debate.

These results are much better for the Democrats, as compared to the Presidential debate, where only 39% though Biden won. The Republicans have comparable levels of opinion on who was the winner in both the Presidential and VP debates with  who 29% thought Trump won, while now 31% thought Pence won.

Furthermore, we polled people on their opinions of who did a sterling job presenting plans to tackle 5 major issues – COVID, the Economy, Climate change, the Supreme Court and Race relations. Unsurprisingly the results were a mirror image of the above chart, where Harris dominated across the board and presented herself as the more competent leader in all the mentioned areas.

Who will turnout to vote?

Like we mentioned above, 231M people are eligible to vote in the Presidential elections, but we wanted to find out was what would be the actual turnout. So we ask all those that watched the debate if they are likely, to different degree, to turn up and vote on the elections. What we see from the chart below is that those who watched the VP debate, 76% are planning on casting their vote on November 3rd.

We did collect a ton of other interesting insights and data and will be happy to share it with interested parties.

Lastly, in case you haven’t seen it before, check out Embee’s Real-Time Election Tracker. This is a completely free and publicly available real-time dashboard with lots of interesting data about the status of the election. For the past few months, Embee has been continuously tracking the Presidential race and incorporating those results, and other data, into this dashboard. There are lots of interesting insights you can see by looking at different groups of people — how are Facebook users different than Instagram users, how does your new sources impact your preferences, how are different demographics leaning, and more! Enjoy!