Government Shutdown Leaves Voters Craving Character in Next Election

Des Moines, Iowa – Quester®, a research firm based in Des Moines, Iowa, has found that 16% of Americans will be taking a more personal look at candidates independent of the candidate’s party affiliation. Stemming from the government shutdown in 2013, voters are frustrated with the current state of politics and are seeking candidates who will work for their country and not their party. At the time of study, 27% of American voters indicated they had less faith in incumbents than before the shutdown and wanted to see their seats replaced by newer faces.

The study was conducted immediately following the government shutdown (October 18-23, 2013) via online interviewing technology that allows the research firm to conduct one-on-one conversations with hundreds of people at a time. This research collected interviews from 300 participants (n=100 Democrats, n=100 Independents, n=100 Republicans; mix of genders, ages, marital statuses, and ethnicities) from across the nation. The language is collected in the form of text and then analyzed by linguists to identify themes.

The study also finds differences among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans for where blame is placed for shutdown altogether. “Independents really see the whole system as broken. They place the blame on government and not on any one party,” says Brian Pins, Research Manager at Quester. “Where Republicans are blaming the President and more specifically the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare),” Pins continues, “Democrats are blaming Republicans as a whole for their unwillingness to negotiate.”

The majority of voters indicated the government shutdown did not personally affect them, but they do believe the shutdown affected their friends, their families, and how our nation is viewed:

    I personally was not affected, I worry about the homeless the people with no insurance, the small business man, the person without a job, the people who will lose their homes. (Democrat)

    I used to be very proud of being an American but no longer. With all the corruptness and ineptness of our government we have become a global laughing stock and that is both deserved and an understatement. (Independent)

    I really felt ashamed of the US and our government. I pictured the other countries just sitting back and laughing at us. (Republican)

The upcoming elections will still be about party differences, but more importantly, it will be about the character of the candidates and how well they communicate their ability to think about the country first, their experience and willingness to negotiate, and to “not act like children when they don’t get their way.”

Quester leverages proprietary moderating technology to conduct online in-depth-interviews with hundreds or thousands of respondents at a time. Our software moderator identifies abstract ideas in open-ended text and probes for more information on-the-fly. Analyzing conversations at mass is efficient with our text-analytic engine and on-staff linguists. Innovation to insight: Quester.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact:

Brian Pins
Research Manager, Quester


Garrett McGuire
VP, Corporate Strategy, Quester


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