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Trump to Win South Carolina

Since Saturday night’s GOP debate in Greenville, SC, Donald Trump’s share of voice among residents of South Carolina has increased to 41 percent, a rise of 10 percentage points from February 13 to 15.

When we looked at Trump’s performance in mid-December, we predicted that he’d win it all, unless something changed. Nothing has changed, and that something that needs to happen is starting to look like a miracle.

Trump-sc (1)

Our prediction:

Trump will win South Carolina with at least 40 percent of the vote, followed by Cruz with 20 percent and Jeb Bush coming in third with 15 percent.

How is Trump doing it?

Every major poll, such as YouGov, SC Republican Caucus Association and Gravis Marketing, now declares that Trump is ahead by double digits. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com, which predicted the last two federal elections with startling accuracy, gives Trump a 73 percent chance to win. Our prediction, while by a smaller margin, also places him with a stern victory.

The big question is: why is Trump attracting so many voters?


1. Voters are hearing something new.

In a meta-analysis of research on lie detection and honesty, researchers from New York State University and the University of San Francisco found repetition of claims and even similar word choices can lead to mistrust amongst an audience. With his Republican candidate opponents saying many of the same things on immigration, the economy and foreign policy, Trump’s connection to voters could be simply a result of him choosing new terms for the same issues to convey his message.

In a Gallup poll of government trustworthiness only 45 percent of survey respondents (as representative of voters) hold either a great deal or some trust in the government.

2. Keep it Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.)

Donald Trump’s strategy is to attack his opponents and simplify issues. If it doesn’t fit into a tweet, Trump won’t say it. A few examples:

Trump’s take on Iraq:

Trump’s take on 9/11:

Trump’s take on immigration:

Easy to understand solutions resonate with the public and connect the candidate to them. Long-winded policies can’t be painted on signs, shouted at rallies or shared in social messages. In Stanford and Duke University professors Chip and Dan Heath’s copywriting guide “Made to Stick,” the brothers list out six keys to a successful sticky message. Messages need to be:

1. Simple

2. Unexpected

3. Concrete

4. Credible

5. Emotional

6. A story

Trump’s messaging doesn’t always have all six but they include four at the very least: simple, unexpected, concrete and emotional. Four out of six is better than most.

3. It isn’t just what someone says but where they say it.

South Caro - events

When Trump holds a rally, it isn’t for 75 supporters in a church basement. He takes over stadiums and arenas and he fills them with supporters. The benefit from this is quantifiable. The chart shows the total social mentions over the last seven days for Trump, John Kasich, Bush and Cruz in South Carolina.

The three highwater marks are events, the first is a rally with 5,000 supporters at Clemson University’s T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena held on Wednesday, February 10. The second mark is Saturday’s debate and the third is a rally with 10,000 supporters in Greenville, South Carolina at the TD Convention Center held on Monday. Trump’s rallies last Wednesday and Monday produced more social chatter in South Carolina than Saturday’s debate.

Just like social engagement, event attendance displays an intention to support–or in this case vote–for a candidate. If your message is simple and new, you’ll find your brand growing an audience and in turn, winning supporters – aka brand ambassadors.

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Images via Pixabay: 1

Tags : social media

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada.

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