“I ran for mayor in 1981, and thankfully I didn’t win,” pollster John Zogby told the Campaign Battlegrounds class. Mr. Zogby began as a self-described “left-wing political activists” before migrating to professional polling.
In the mid-1980’s Mr. Zogby began polling local races, something unseen in the field at the time but is now considered common practice. By 1994, Mr. Zogby was conducting polls for Richard Murdoch, generating information for Fox News and the New York Post . Two years later, Mr. Zogby was polling for Reuters and NBC News.
Zogby was the first pollster to coin the term “NASCAR Dads.” He explained, “Weekly Wal-Mart shoppers are one of the key groups, when they are with Obama his approval rating is good. When they are against him, his approval rating is not.”
For this election season, Mr. Zogby suggests the most decisive demographic will be what he terms, “First Globals.” Coined “millennials” by others, Mr. Zogby suggests, “There is a clear demarcation on foreign policy attitude at the age of 50. Those older than 50 believe in ‘American Exceptionalism’ – the idea America plays an exceptional role in foreign policy. Those below 50 are more cautious about foreign policy.”
Mr. Zogby also discussed how the Latino participation has evolved. “In 1992, Latino voters were 4 percent of 92 million voters . Now they are 10.1 percent of 132 million voters,” Mr. Zogby explained. During our discussion, Mr. Zogby also commented on the decline in support for Republican candidates among Latinos.
“George W. Bush won 40 percent of the Latino vote, John McCain won 31 percent, Mitt Romney won 29percent. In 2010. Latino voters turned out at 70 percent and voted 80 percent Democrat,” Mr. Zogby shared.
On the phenomenon of Donald Trump, Mr. Zogby said, “I thought he would be a summer fling. All the rules have been broken and anytime he breaks the rules he does better.”
On Hillary Clinton, Mr. Zogby said he has met her several times and has personally told her, “I don’t really know who you are.” He further suggested, “It’s easy to see how [a Trump-Clinton race] becomes competitive. Not trusting a candidate,” he told the class. “is powerful.”