Blue-collar voters are more likely to support Donald Trump after seeing an attack ad on him by rival Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, according to a study released by survey platform Qualtrics and research firm Evolving Strategies.
According to the study, which defines blue-collar as having a high-school degree or less with salaries under $90,000, this group of voters actually boosted their support for Trump from 45 to 64 per cent after seeing Ted Cruz’s attack ad where he criticizes the real-estate mogul’s ‘New York Values.’
Mike Maughan, head of global insights at Qualtrics, said of the findings: “With the first votes of the 2016 presidential election just days away, this study further establishes that Trump is a formidable candidate who will be hard to stop. Our study shows that attacks on Trump are ironically often helping him more than hurting him.”
Qualtrics and Evolving Strategies surveyed more than 1,200 people who identify as Republicans to complete this study. For the study, respondents were randomly assigned one of three political ads or were shown a placebo-control ad, which was a Coca-Cola commercial. Afterwards, they were asked to choose their first choice for the Republican nomination, their second choice and were asked to rate Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
The study also found that Trump’s ads don’t have much of an effect on middle-class voters, which are defined as those with some college experience or college graduates with salaries less than $90,000. After viewing a recent Trump ad where he calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, 43 per cent of middle-class respondents chose Trump as their first choice. Yet among those who did not see the ad, 41 per cent still chose Trump as their first choice.
While Trump’s ads don’t help him much, they do draw away support from Cruz, according to the study, which says that Cruz's support among the middle class dropped by 7 points from 16 per cent to nine per cent after they were shown Trump’s Muslim-focused ad.