NEWSLETTER: 6 Pollie Awards | Amanda Iovino on Essential Indicators Within Polling

April 26, 2024

Derek Dufresne: Collaboration Within Our Newsletter

The Ascent Strategic team has always been collaborators by nature. We truly believe that diversity of thought and the melding of various perspectives only helps to improve a campaign, organization, or initiative. Over the years, we have been fortunate to work with some of the country’s best consultants and political service vendors. As part of our company e-newsletter, we will now highlight some of these individuals and their firms and allow them to discuss topics pertinent to their field of expertise with you.

Our first consultant on deck is one of my favorite people in the business. I had the opportunity to first work with Amanda Iovino, a Principal at WPA Intelligence, on Congresswoman Kat Cammack’s (R, FL-03) race in 2020. As the campaign’s general consultant, I worked directly with her on everything from polling to data modeling. Amanda’s expertise in the field and collaborative demeanor played a significant role in helping us secure Kat a victory in a 10-way Republican primary.

Since then, I have continued working with Amanda on various projects, and I always enjoy hearing her perspectives on some of the most complicated and intricate policy issues our candidates must navigate.

If you would like to be a contributor to our newsletter, please reply to this email or contact

Amanda Iovino: Essential Indicators Within Polling

As a pollster specializing in key swing areas, I’ve identified several essential indicators to help campaigns focus their efforts effectively ahead of the election.

Over the past generation, we have observed a trend: college-educated voters increasingly lean Democratic, while voters without degrees, blue-collar workers, trend Republican. This shift accelerated and was perhaps cemented under President Trump. Additionally, gender has continued to play a significant role in the delineation of party support.

In my data and polling analyses, I focus on two key crosstabs: men with college degrees and women without college degrees. One of the reasons why I hone in on these voters is because our current political climate is shaped by three issues: abortion, safety, and cost of living.

Public Polling Insights:
Abortion: Voters trust President Biden and the Democrats
Safety: Trump and Republicans have an advantage on topics like crime and the border
Cost of Living: Currently, Republicans are more trusted

Gender and Education Analysis:
Men without college degrees prioritize safety (be it crime or the border) and cost of living concerns over abortion. Republicans lead on two of these three topics, and polling generally shows that two-thirds of these voters will support a Republican candidate.
Women with college degrees care deeply about abortion rights, which overshadows concerns over public safety and the cost of living due to their socio-economic status. With one dominating issue on their minds, Democrats are often winning two-thirds of their votes.
Men with college degrees are a true swing group because they have the luxury to consider other issues. They largely don’t care about abortion (beyond what they hear from their wives), live in safe neighborhoods, and don’t feel the pinch of inflation until it hits their stock portfolio. These voters have tended to be particularly sensitive to “law and order” and “extremist” messaging by each party, but it very much depends on the dynamics of the race.
Women without college degrees are also a critical swing group because they are at the nexus of all the issues at hand. They care about abortion rights, are concerned about their safety and that of their children, and when inflation rates increase, these women are deciding between putting gas in the car or putting food on the table. These voters are stressed. They may appear to be less informed than other groups, but don’t be fooled: they pay attention much earlier than you think.

Understanding the balance of these four groups in your district and in your data is crucial for shaping your campaign’s positioning, issue focus, and messaging strategies to engage and persuade these critical voter segments effectively.

Pollie Awards: Ascent Takes Home SIX Awards

With winning work from campaigns for mayor all the way to president, we’re proud to announce we added SIX trophies from the AAPC Pollie Awards to our shelves.

A big shout-out to our entire team, who put their blood, sweat, and tears into these races; our collaborative team environment that has brought together some of the best minds in this business helped us end the award season with 11 more accolades. We won the following awards:

– For PAC/Super PAC: Silver
– Independent Expenditure Campaign – Presidential Primary: Gold

– Best Use of a Meme: Silver

– Less Than a Full Page: Bronze
– Insert: Gold

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda:
– Best Use of Direct Mail: Bronze

Check out our social media over the next week to see the winning designs.

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At Ascent Strategic, we devise winning strategies for candidates and political organizations. We'd love to see what we can help you achieve.

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