Who is Ford Nation?

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jerrym
Who is Ford Nation?

An ONPulse poll does a good job of identifying who Ford Nation is: it's largely the usual suspects.

We find 5% of Ontarians would explicitly label themselves as members of Ford Nation. 

An additional 25% are non-identifying fans of Ford Nation, while 51% rejected the label. In total, then, 30% of Ontario either labels itself as part of Ford Nation or is sympathetic to it.

 

  • Ford Nation skews male and older, with few women under 30 identifying with the label.
  • Past PC voters and voters who self identify being on the right of the political spectrum are more likely to be part of “Ford Nation” than others. 
  • A greater proportion of Toronto and GTA residents fall into “Ford Nation” than those from other regions, but this group spans the province. Within Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, and York hold the highest proportion of those identifying with Ford Nation, while those closer to the downtown core are least likely to identify support for Ford Nation.

What concerns Ford Nation?

Much as we found no one issue unites voters of different political stripes, no issue in particular seems to exceptionally jump out for Ford Nation. Their top issues are consistent with those of most voters: health care, housing, jobs and the economy. On issues where they differ from Ontarians, they tend to be more similar to PC voters: they prioritize taxes, the provincial debt, and honesty and accountability in government. 

If not demographics, geography or cause, what makes this group distinct?

A unifying feature of Ford Nation is their exceptionally positive view of Doug Ford. Even compared to PC voters, “Ford Nation” are defined by very strong enthusiasm for the current PC leader, with double the enthusiasm of all those saying they would vote PC. 

Another is they are highly engaged: Ford Nation voters are twice as likely to be following news about the Ontario election very closely (39%) as those who reject the label (20%).

Another thread of commonality can be found in their unique outlook on power dynamics in society. Ford Nation sees public sector unions, the mainstream media, and environmentalists holding far too much influence. This is in stark contrast to other Ontarians, who are ironically most concerned about the amount of influence Ford Nation has in society. 

  • Curiously, Ford Nation does not disproportionately feel Toronto downtown professionals and the business community have too much power. They are about as likely as other Ontarians to believe they have more influence than they should. Antipathy towards downtown elites is often and primarily used by Doug as a rhetorical device, but its is a message resonates far beyond Doug Ford’s base.
  • They are even far more likely to have a positive impression of Trump than other Ontarians – 26% view him positively.
  • But the key ingredients aren’t there. 

    The phenomenon of Donald Trump was said to emerge from economic anxiety, cultural alienation, and a sense of personal decline. Our data suggests that while greater pessimism for the future of the economy exists among “Ford Nation” voters, these Ontarians have comfortable financial situations, incomes  that align with provincial norms, are as just as likely to be saving comfortably as to be indebted. ...

  • Though they do not suffer from the pronounced economic anxiety of the Trump voter, they are nonetheless a group with some similarities – a disinclination for elites, mainstream media, and the "scourge" of political correctness. ...

  • Their similarities to other Ontario voters, and their general normalcy from a demographic and even psychographic perspective, speaks to the potency of Doug Ford’s message and the possible reach of his appeal as he continues to build support among Ontarians, preaching against downtown Toronto elites and standing up for every day people. Yesterday's promise to eliminate provincial income tax for minimum wage earners is evidence of this. 

http://onpulse.ca/blog/one-nation-under-ford

 

jerrym

The above poll is nicely summarized below: 

  • Who is part of “Ford Nation?” A poll by OnPulse found that approximately 30 per cent of Ontario voters either consider themselves part of Ford Nation or are sympathetic to its aims, while 51 per cent reject the label entirely. Ford Nation members and fans have top concerns similar to those of other voters: health care, jobs, and the economy. But Ford Nation supporters are much more likely to feel that unions, media, and environmentalists have too much influence in society, while the rest of voters are primarily concerned that Ford Nation has too much influence. Ford Nation followers are also much more likely to support U.S. President Donald Trump: About 36 per cent of people who consider themselves hardcore members of Ford Nation have a positive impression of Trump. In contrast, only about 8 per cent of Ontario voters who reject the Ford Nation label entirely say they view the president positively, and fully 85 per cent have a negative view. 

https://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/the-next-ontario/ontario-electio...

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Very interesting. But this validates my point that New Democrats supporting Ford are idiots. Either that or New Democrats lean more to the right than Liberals. And people think the NDP is progressive? Yeah,OK.

jerrym

One interesting result from the poll is that Ford supporters who were Ontario Liberal voters in the 2014 election (21%) are in a statistical tie with NDP voters (20%) in the 2014 election, indicating both parties are suffering equal losses to Ford.

Interestingly, only 49% of 2014 PC voters identify themselves as part of or fans of Ford nation, suggesting there is a significant percentage of voters who potentially be pulled away from voting PC again.

I do not see how this validates NDP voters who vote Ford are either idiots or any more idiots than Liberal voters. They look at the world through a different prism than you do. Disrespecting them is never going to win them over to your side. 

All human beings filter the new information that they receive through their already existing belief systems, espeically political ones as the following article notes: 

people are more likely to be convinced Einstein wasn’t a great physicist than to change their minds on topics like immigration or the death penalty. 

It has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence (or the quality of information on Einstein or immigration policy). It’s due to the fact that we’re simply more open to changing our minds on nonpolitical topics. Scientists have been keen to figure out why — because if they can, it may open the door to the hardest challenge in politics right now: changing minds. ...

The brain processes politically charged information (or information about strongly held beliefs) differently (and perhaps with more emotion) than it processes more mundane facts. It can help explain why attempts to correct misinformation can backfire completely, leaving people more convinced of their convictions.

The results also jibe with some of Kaplan and Harris’s past work on religious beliefs. “When we compared evaluating religious statements to nonreligious statements, we [found] some of the same brain regions that are active in the current study,” Kaplan said. Which makes sense, because religious beliefs also factor into our identities.

What the new study definitely doesn’t show is that “political beliefs are hardwired,” Kaplan says. We can change our minds. Reflecting on his work and his own experience, Kaplan says a good way to make facts matter is to remind people that who they are and what they believe are two separate things.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/12/28/14088992/brain-study-c...

 

However, changing people's minds is not impossible, even on political issues as other studies show: 

1) If the argument you find convincing doesn’t resonate with someone else, find out what does

Whenever we engage in political debates, we all tend to overrate the power of arguments we find personally convincing — and wrongly think the other side will be swayed. 

On gun control, for instance, liberals are persuaded by stats like, "No other developed country in the world has nearly the same rate of gun violence as does America." And they think other people will find this compelling, too. 

Conservatives, meanwhile, often go to this formulation: "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

What both sides fail to understand is that they're arguing a point that their opponents have not only already dismissed but may be inherently deaf to.

"The messages that are intuitive to people are, for the most part, not the effective ones," Robb Willer, a professor of sociology and psychology at Stanford University, told me in 2015. 

Willer has shown it's at least possible to nudge our political opponents to consider ideas they'd normally reject outright. In 2015, in a series of six studies, he and co-author Matthew Feinberg found that when conservative policies are framed around liberal values like equality or fairness, liberals become more accepting of them. The same was true of liberal policies recast in terms of conservative values like respect for authority. ...

How to sway the other side: Use their morals against them

Willer’s work is based on moral foundations theory. It's the idea that people have stable, gut-level morals that influence their worldview. The liberal moral foundations include equality, fairness, and protection of the vulnerable. Conservative moral foundations are more stalwart: They favor in-group loyalty, moral purity, and respect for authority.

Politicians intuitively use moral foundations to excite like-minded voters. Conservative politicians know phrases like "take our country back" get followers' hearts beating. 

What moral foundations theory tells us, however, is that these messages don't translate from one moral tribe to the other. "You’re essentially trying to convince somebody who speaks French of some position while speaking German to them," Willer says. "And that doesn’t resonate."

Willer cautioned that it's still extremely difficult to convert a political opponent completely to your side, even with these techniques. "We found statistically significant effects," he says. "They’re reliable. But in terms of magnitude, they are not large."

In his study, when he framed an argument against Trump in terms of loyalty (a conservative moral foundation), conservative participants reported they were less likely to support him.  “For instance, the loyalty message argued that Trump ‘has repeatedly behaved disloyally towards our country to serve his own interests’ and that ‘during the Vietnam War, he dodged the draft to follow his father into the development business,’” Feinberg and his co-author write in the study. ...

2) Listen. Your ideological opponents want to feel like they’ve been heard.

Willer and Feinberg’s work suggest there’s a way to change minds on policy. But what about on prejudice? How can you effectively argue a person out of a prejudicial opinion? Because as Vox’s German Lopez explains in great detail, simply calling people racist is a strategy sure to backfire. 

In 2016, the journal Science published a remarkable bit of insight: It's possible to reduce prejudice, and sway opinions on anti-transgender legislation, with one 10-minute conversation. What's more, the researchers found that the change of heart can last at least three months and is resistant to anti-transgender attack ads.

It worked because the canvassers in the study did a simple thing: They listened. 

Dave Fleischer, a longtime political organizer, calls it deep canvassing. The key to it is that Fleischer has the voter do most of the talking. Instead of pelting voters with facts, "we ask open-ended questions and then we listen," Fleischer told me last year. "And then we continue to ask open-ended questions based on what they just told us."

In talking about their own lives, the voters engage in what psychologists call "active processing." The idea is that people learn lessons more durably when they come to the conclusion themselves, not when someone "bitch-slaps you with a statistic," says Fleischer. Overall, it's a task designed to point out our common humanity, which then opens the door to reducing prejudice and changing opinions.

https://www.vox.com/2016/11/23/13708996/argue-better-science

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

jerrym wrote:

One interesting result from the poll is that Ford supporters who were Ontario Liberal voters in the 2014 election (21%) are in a statistical tie with NDP voters (20%) in the 2014 election, indicating both parties are suffering equal losses to Ford.

Interestingly, only 49% of 2014 PC voters identify themselves as part of or fans of Ford nation, suggesting there is a significant percentage of voters who potentially be pulled away from voting PC again.

 

Black is white,up is down,wet is dry,hot is cold and facts are fiction. What a fucked up world.

Sean in Ottawa

jerrym wrote:

One interesting result from the poll is that Ford supporters who were Ontario Liberal voters in the 2014 election (21%) are in a statistical tie with NDP voters (20%) in the 2014 election, indicating both parties are suffering equal losses to Ford.

Absolutely not. This is one heck of a statistical error.

21% of Liberal voters = 391 thousand

20% of NDP voters = 228 thousand

NDP Ford voters-- (if the poll is not garbage) would be less than 60% of the number of Ford Voters.

A greater share of the base of the Liberals is going to Ford.

Voters than migrate freely without ideology are likely close to the same for each party.

The next issue is that this poll is before the election. The election process makes a difference. The NDP gained more than 20% in the writ period in the last eleciton. Why would we assume they would not again?

Also the focus is on Ford voters -- there would also be a percentage found of people for each party changing their vote and the NDP is not behind where they started last time so there is a net migration into the party not out.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
In talking about their own lives, the voters engage in what psychologists call "active processing." The idea is that people learn lessons more durably when they come to the conclusion themselves, not when someone "bitch-slaps you with a statistic," says Fleischer. Overall, it's a task designed to point out our common humanity, which then opens the door to reducing prejudice and changing opinions.

OK, but then why does it only last three months?

Mighty Middle

New poll out from Forum saying Andrea Horwath and Doug Ford are tied with the highest approval rating for leader at 37%

But for those who disapprove of Ford (40%) while Horwath has disapproval of (32%). A third (31%) say they do not know about Andrea Horwath.

Kathleen Wynne see’s approval from one-fifth (18%), and disapproval from three-quarters (73%). Only 1 in 10 (9%) say they do not know. Her net favourable score (Approve-Disapprove) is -54.

 http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/2838/ontario-horserace-april-2018/

jerrym

Mighty Middle wrote:

New poll out from Forum saying Andrea Horwath and Doug Ford are tied with the highest approval rating for leader at 37%

But for those who disapprove of Ford (40%) while Horwath has disapproval of (32%). A third (31%) say they do not know about Andrea Horwath.

Kathleen Wynne see’s approval from one-fifth (18%), and disapproval from three-quarters (73%). Only 1 in 10 (9%) say they do not know. Her net favourable score (Approve-Disapprove) is -54.

 http://poll.forumresearch.com/post/2838/ontario-horserace-april-2018/

Horwath is the only with a positive net approval rating (+5%) in contrast to Ford's -3% and Wynne's -54%.