Washington, DC —We should probably cut Donald Trump some slack.
recent press conference, the GOP nominee appeared to confuse Democratic Vice
Presidential nominee, former Virginia Governor and current Senator Tim Kaine with the former
Governor of New Jersey, Tom Kean.
Fact is, before heading into the conventions, Tim Kaine was not what you’d call a
household name. A majority of Americans hadn’t even heard of him, according to an Ipsos
So perhaps Mr. Trump can be forgiven for the mix-up.
Following the nomination, Ipsos wanted to see if his name-recognition had improved. The
good news for the junior Senator is that yes, it had. The bad news is that he’s still got some
work to do. Even once he was announced as Hillary Clinton’s pick for Vice President, about
one in four Americans still hadn’t heard of him. Those numbers put him in line with GOP VP-
hopeful Mike Pence. In the same survey, conducted July 28 and 29, roughly a quarter of adults
didn’t know who he was.
Most Americans fall into the range of “Have heard of him” to “Somewhat familiar.”
After our pre-convention poll, Cait Lumberton, an Associate Professor of Marketing at The
University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business, had an exchange with Cliff Young, the U.S.
president of Ipsos Public Affairs on Twitter. She tweeted, “My bet is that the actual number that
had heard of him is even smaller than 50%... retrospective recall is likely optimistic.” Cliff
responded that it would be interesting to have a fictitious personality as a baseline. But first
thing’s first. We went to www.behindthename.com and used its
Random Name Generator tool. We found a name that had no corresponding page on
Wikipedia (a pretty good test for whether there is a “public figure” with that name) and we put a
question in the field.
We’d like to introduce you to our fictional “public figure.” America, meet Mitch Kellogg.
The thing is, some of you have apparently already met him. While 12% of Americans are
“very familiar” with Tim Kaine, and 14% with Mike Pence, that’s not all that far ahead of Mitch
Kellogg’s 7%. Thankfully (for the sake of our democracy) 56% responded that they had never
heard of him, more than twice the level of the real public figures in the poll. Granted, that’s just
where Tim Kaine was before the convention after a career in the political spotlight.
We will give some credit to the nation’s older adults. Of the respondents over the age of
55, only 2% claimed to be very or somewhat familiar and a solid three in four admitted they
had never heard
of him. Compare that to Millennials, those 18-34, of whom 36% said they were at least
somewhat familiar – more than had never heard of him. Yes, that’s 18 times as likely.
What does this mean? It could mean that we chose a name that just sounded so much like
a public figure that people thought it must be. It could mean that there is major overstatement
in recall questions like this. It could mean that this
guy on Twitter, whose profile states that “God is great, beer is good and people are crazy,”
is more popular than his 334 followers would suggest.
For more information, the topline and press release can be found on the right side
of this page.
These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted July 28-29, 2016. For the survey, a
sample of roughly 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was
interviewed online in English.
The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link
below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and
“river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample
method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed
sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained
from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the
U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of
these population targets is U.S. Census 2015 American Community Survey data. The sample
drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were
made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and
polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and
measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The
precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has
a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents (see link below
for more info on Ipsos online polling “Credibility Intervals”). Ipsos calculates a design effect
(DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish
(1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005,
DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5).
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Director, Editorial Strategy
Ipsos North America
Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry. With a strong presence in 87 countries,
Ipsos employs more than 16,000 people and has the ability to conduct research programs in
more than 100 countries. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is controlled and managed by
research professionals. They have built a solid Group around a multi-specialist positioning—
Media and advertising research; Marketing research; Client and employee relationship
management; Opinion & social research; Mobile, Online, Offline data collection and delivery.
Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999. www.ipsos.com
Knowledge First Financial news release:http://info.knowledgefirstfinancial.ca/kff-news/ccbchoices/