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Jacobs' Techsurvey Shows Radio Listeners' Interest In 2024 Election, And Party Affiliation.

The first wave of findings released from Jacobs Media's annual Techsurvey suggests that most of radio's core fans will be closely following the 2024 Presidential Election, with spoken word format listeners showing the greatest likelihood to do so. Jacobs' data also breaks down listener party affiliation by generation, radio format, race, and residential locale.

Jacobs' Techsurvey 2024 results are based on online surveys conducted during January and February among more than 29,000 core radio users from the email databases and social media pages of hundreds of participating stations. Referencing Nielsen's recently-released “Optimizing Political Campaigns To Win In November” report, Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs says, “While Techsurvey 2024 results won’t be widely released until next month, the importance of this data for radio stations today is obvious. As the Nielsen study notes, radio is an excellent marketing vehicle in political races.”

More than eight in 10 (85%) of Techsurvey 2024 respondents plan to “very closely” or “somewhat closely” follow the 2024 Presidential election coverage, with a profile skewing slightly more male and older, from three-fourths of GenZs to nine in 10 Boomers or Greatest Generation members. That's also the case for more than nine in 10 listeners of spoken word formats, specifically news/talk and sports, although there's also a greater-than-average interest among listeners of triple-A.

Looking at the complete sample, while there remains a larger percentage of listeners giving their party preference as Republican vs. Democrat, the latter's share has increased, and the former's decreased, by 2% since 2020's Techsurvey. Likewise, those identifying as Independent are also up 2%. Gen Zs and Millennials are more likely to identify as Democrats, while Gen Xers, Boomers, and those among the Greatest Generation lean Republican. In terms of ethnicity, while one-third of white participants give their preference as Republican, a significant majority of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians (62%, 36%, and 43%) identify as Democrat.

Focusing on 12 radio formats, Techsurvey's results show those with the largest share of Republican listeners are country (46%), news/talk (42%), classic rock (30%), and rock (28%), while the most Democratic-leaning are urban AC (54%), triple-A (48%), alternative (35%), and hot AC (30%). The most evenly split are classic hits (26% Republican, 25% Democrat), adult contemporary (26%/22%), and sports (25%/29%), the latter with the highest share of Independents (22%).

“This format-level data should be especially helpful to candidates and supporters of propositions and referenda,” Jacobs' report says. “No other advertising medium offers a more effective way to either target supporters, speak to Independents, or appeal to those on the other end of the political spectrum than radio.”

A breakdown of party preference based on where listeners live shows urban residents leaning more Democratic (32%) while rural dwellers are heavily Republican (38%), with suburbanites more split down the middle. Independents, meanwhile, are equally likely to live in urban, suburban, or rural situations.

“The data from Techsurvey 2024 takes radio’s sales pitch to a higher level, providing invaluable insight designed to not only help radio sellers, but also leaders of political campaigns determine where to invest their dollars for maximum effect.” Jacobs Media COO Paul Jacobs says. “It makes a powerful statement not only about radio’s power, but also demonstrates the versatility of the medium – radio can help political campaigns regardless of party, region, or size.”

Jacobs Media will hold an all-industry webinar to share Techsurvey 2024 results in April, in partnership with Inside Radio and sponsored by Quu.

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