Focus Groups and the Culture of Consultation

Every day, all across America, small groups of strangers gather in nondescript rooms. Under the guidance of professional moderators, these strangers “focus” their feelings on paper plates, vodka advertisements, movie endings, and political sound bites. Microphones in the room record everything said for future review. … In her fascinating new […] Read more »

Trump voters have buyer’s remorse in North Carolina focus group

… Veteran pollster Peter Hart organized the two-hour-and-15-minute session in Wilmington for Emory University. Five independents, four Republicans and three Democrats participated. … When Hart asked for one word or phrase to describe Trump, the group initially erupted in laughter. Only two of 12 said something positive (“bold” and “fights […] Read more »

Are Third Way’s Focus Groups Valid Research?

Much attention has been lavished on this Molly Ball piece in The Atlantic on the centrist think tank Third Way’s listening tour across America. In it, Ms. Ball subtly fillets the Third Way’s domestic anthropologists in their search for answers that already align with the group’s preconceptions about a fundamentally […] Read more »

Focus Group Reveals Democrats ‘Have a Lot of Work to Do’ With Black Millennials

“Angry,” “exasperated,” “worried,” “stressed” and “scared” were the responses from back-to-back focus groups here of a combined 20 African-American millennials, who were asked to describe how they feel about American politics. These young voters from a key 2016 battleground state also expressed deep pessimism about the political process and their […] Read more »

‘Abject Disappointment’: Pittsburgh Voters Skewer Trump’s Tone

… A focus group of Pittsburgh-area voters, conducted Tuesday night by pollster Peter Hart on behalf of Emory University, revealed bipartisan disappointment in the tenor of Trump’s leadership during the first seven months of his presidency. Asked to describe the president in a single word, participants called Trump “outrageous,” “dishonest,” […] Read more »