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Author Topic: Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.  (Read 6219 times)

Solitar

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Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« on: February 02, 2003, 04:52:00 pm »

We keep beating the bushes for statistics, and we keep beating those stats with spreadsheets. We look at legislatures and the laws those legislators made.  But too often its the personal agendas of legislators, governors and lobbyists that get put into law and not the actual root wants of the voters and especially the voters who want less regulations.

We need stats that actually indicate how much liberty the individual voters will support.

Here are some suggestions for measures which are comparable across all the states. Some of these are far right conservative, some "left libertarian", some are on single-issues. Yet they may be good indicators of how many  individuals have put their money where their political ideals are.  Many of you likely know of other magazines, national newspapers, etc. which would be good indicators. Please add them in following posts. Also please correct my misperceptions about which magazines are best in what categories.

Can the FSP or individual members or researchesrs get the following data and/or information
 In order to avoid giving the FSP away, perhaps ask for a breakdown by all the states.
(I add the links after instead of embed them under so people can easily copy/paste 'em)

Circulation totals per state for magazines read by the individualist liberty-minded.
Ideas on Liberty: http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?sec=iolmisc
Reason: http://reason.com/
The National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/
The American Spectator:  http://www.spectator.org/
The Economist: http://www.economist.com/
The Weekly Standard: http://www.weeklystandard.com/
The Washington Times: http://www.washtimes.com/
US News & World Report:  http://www.usnews.com/usnews/home.htm
NRA: http://www.nrahq.org/publications/

Circulation totals per state for magazines read by the liberal statist-minded.
A list of "em: http://www.cjnetworks.com/~cubsfan/magazines.html
The New Republic:  http://www.tnr.com/
Newsweek:  http://www.newsweek.com/
The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/
Harper's: http://www.harpers.org/
The Progressive: http://www.progressive.org

Circulation totals per state for magazines read by the conservative-minded.
Conservative Chronicle:  http://www.conservativechronicle.com/
The New American:  http://www.thenewamerican.com/
The American Conservative:  http://www.amconmag.com/

Circulation totals per state for magazines read by the Independent Thinking.
The Independent Review:  http://www.independent.org/review.html
Freethought Today:  http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/
Liberty Magazine:  http://www.libertymagazine.org/

Science Fact and Fiction: (which often is definitively libertarian and Free State)
Analog Science Fiction & Fact:  http://www.analogsf.com/
Asimov's Science Fiction"  http://www.asimovs.com/
Discover:  http://www.discover.com/
Nature:  http://www.nature.com/nature/

Circulation totals per state for magazines read by the relatively unthinking.
National Enquirer: http://www.nationalenquirer.com/
People:  http://www.people.com/
Weekly World News: http://www.weeklyworldnews.com/

Here's is a listing of gun magazines (many may not be good political indicators)
http://www.4greatmagazines.com/magazines.php/cPath/50/

P.S. since I can't edit any more, if I'm way off in where I put a magazine, maybe Jason or Charles can change it.
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freedomroad

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Re:Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2003, 06:20:05 pm »

We keep beating the bushes for statistics, and we keep beating those stats with spreadsheets. We look at legislatures and the laws those legislators made.  But too often its the personal agendas of legislators, governors and lobbyists that get put into law and not the actual root wants of the voters and especially the voters who want less regulations.

We need stats that actually indicate how much liberty the individual voters will support.

Here are some suggestions for measures which are comparable across all the states. Some of these are far right conservative, some "left libertarian", some are on single-issues. Yet they may be good indicators of how many  individuals have put their money where their political ideals are.  Many of you likely know of other magazines, national newspapers, etc. which would be good indicators. Please add them in following posts. Also please correct my misperceptions about which magazines are best in what categories.

Can the FSP or individual members or researchesrs get the following data and/or information
 In order to avoid giving the FSP away, perhaps ask for a breakdown by all the states.
(I add the links after instead of embed them under so people can easily copy/paste 'em)

Circulation totals per state for magazines read by the individualist liberty-minded.
Ideas on Liberty: http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?sec=iolmisc
Reason: http://reason.com/
The National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/
The American Spectator:  http://www.spectator.org/
The Economist: http://www.economist.com/
The Weekly Standard: http://www.weeklystandard.com/
The Washington Times: http://www.washtimes.com/
US News & World Report:  http://www.usnews.com/usnews/home.htm
NRA: http://www.nrahq.org/publications/

I think National Review is neo-conservative
I think Washington Times, Weekly Standard, and US New & World Report and conservative.  NRA's gun mag is conservative while its legislative mag is more freedom related.

I think your whole theory might be somewhat flawed.  People in the states of AK, DE, and NH make much more, on average than people in the other 7 states so they will be able to afford more magizines.  Certain groups of people may be more likely to read the internet which is much better for conservative, liberal, and libertarian news than mags are.  People in states that are already more free than most (like WY and AK) might not care as much since they are already so free.  On the otherhand, people in many of the states might be so isolated during the winter that they read more.  However, I suspect the city folk (more common in DE, ME, and AK) are more likely to read mags than rural people.  Why would libertarians, conservatives, or liberals care about reading political mags, in the first place?  Would libertarians be more or less likely to read these mags?

Who is going to do all of this research?  Isn't all of this just more data to add to the spread sheet.

On the other hand, maybe this will serve some use.  There is already a factor that rates citizen ideology, though.  Jason considers it an important factor and he added it to the revised spreadsheet.
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1213
If that is what you are looking for, it is already found.
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Solitar

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Re:Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2003, 08:27:11 pm »

FreedomRoad,

I had reviewed and weighed the "ideology" measure before and found it not quite as grassroots accurate as we may need.  Of the local state legislators, they often get elected on other factors besides ideology or voting record. In small states with small districts there is personality -- he or she is a "nice guy or gal", or they've so much seniority they get votes for bringing home the bacon -- regardless of what party they are in. Oh yes there are ideologues such as some of the Vermont Progressives and Wyoming Republicans and Delaware Democrats whose constituents share their ideology. But just how much does that apply to most or nearly all legislators?  And then there is the question of voting records as influenced by lobbyists rather than citizens. Gosh knows that some legislators seem almost immune to what their constituency believes -- as long as they keep throwing benefits to the masses.

As to people being able to afford magazines...
That the read at all is a positive indicator. Though the poor masses who buy National Enquirer at the grocery checkout are likely a negative indicator.

Let's look at it from another perspective. What if the FSP would want to advertise in some of the above magazines a couple years from now? Wouldn't it be good to know how many potential readers there are in each state? Of course that would also be a good indicator of how many potential customers/members there would be in each state. You wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on a magazine that gets a very high readership among liberals in the various "People's Republics". Instead you'd want to focus your marketing efforts on conservative or libertarian readers in those states. That the readership or circulation numbers would help indicate which of the ten states is more libertarian would be just a fringe benefit. ;-)

How about TV show ratings on a state by state basis?  Most of even the poor watch those national narcotics. If a state has a high proportion of people watching critical documentaries and though-provoking series and a lower proportion watching socialist drivel, then that is a good indicator. But how does the average person get that info without paying an arm and a leg for it. We only need it on a state by state basis for ten states.
Any other ideas for second and third cross-checks on the other criteria?
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Zxcv

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Re:Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2003, 10:36:13 pm »

Quote
But too often its the personal agendas of legislators, governors and lobbyists that get put into law and not the actual root wants of the voters and especially the voters who want less regulations.

Joe, that's why I think it matters what indicator you look at. Some (gun control, increased homeschool regulation) are likely to generate a lot of opposition, that should be able to stymie the odd statist legislator. Others (fireworks regulation) can be passed with little effort because no one will bother to oppose it.

Homeschooling is a peculiar case, because it is generally progressing toward freedom. I would look particularly for increased regulation as a negative indicator (that is, look at the trend in regulation, in preference to a snapshot of what the regulation happens to be at a certain point). Might be hard to find this info, though.

Keith identifies certain problems with your idea. One way the affluence issue can be bypassed would be to rate ratios of circulation figures, e.g., add up the circulation of freedom-oriented mags in each state, then divide that by the circulation total of statist mags in each state. The affluence effect should cancel out. You'd have to worry about cultural bias in your magazine choices, though. Easterners and Westerners are going to have different tastes...

Personally I think we have a lot of cultural information already, especially in the big spreadsheet. What I wish we had more of, are variables in the SIZE and VIABILITY categories.
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Kelton

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Re:Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2003, 03:41:42 am »

I just finished reading The Clustered World- how we live what we buy, and what it all means about who we are by market research guru Michael J. Weiss.  *

First of all, if you did not already know, there is a tremendous business out there gathering market research data on every purchase you make and combining that  information with all sorts of imaginable data that is all crunched daily on super-computers all in an effort to assist marketers to efficiently reach their target audience, unless of course you have specifically opted-out of such market research or only pay by cash and never use any promotion cards or membership cards; but even then you contribute to the data in other ways.

While reading this book, I took copious notes but through it all, I only have have a few basic points which are valuable for our consideration on the question of which state.  Such information as which regions of the country have the most consumers that regularly eat Spam are certainly interesting but not important for us.

Most of the marketers of this data have trade- names for each specific demographic that they identify, they name groups of people names like "greenbelt families", "money & brains" and "country squires"; each identifiable group represents only a small segment of the population, usually about 1%.  Marketers usually do not look for one particular set of data, such as where in the country people eat Spam more frequently, because that is easily answered by where it is sold the most, the more valuable data is identifying a target audience that may buy a product because of a prediction of how they will act, based on their demographic group made up of several variables, thus the word 'cluster'.  Though they use such variables as politics, even 'key issue is in pro-legalization of marijuana' they combine that with income level, age group, and other demographic information so that trying to identify one factor is useless, since this is clustered marketing data.  This book already had old information the day it was published in 2000.  To get more current information, you'll have to pay for it, and sometimes pay a lot.  Good and fresh market research on who will buy what widget is often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for nationwide campaigns.  Political parties rely heavily on some of this data to not only tailor their message, but also to decide what to run on.

Sorry, I'm getting long-winded here,  this is what lessons I think are most important from this book:

  • There is no such thing as an even remotely homogenous state, with the possibly small exception of Utah which comes out moderately consistent.  Each and every state has its own demographic regions, identified in this book by county.
  • To market demographers, there really is no such thing as an East/ West divide in this country anymore, not even a North/South divide or even cold/ warm climates change certain key identifiable demographics.  Rural/ Urban divides are about as close as it gets to identifying a region of people that have a concentration of a certain market demographic, and there are so many different types of rural and urban demographic groups that it is better to just work with each group individually.  --not just talking marketing toothpaste here, this even applies to clusters of characteristics that include politics.  Certain cities in Eastern Canada have more in common with cities in Arizona than they do with even neighboring cities.
  •  After examining about 70 different maps of the United States where different demographic groups are identified, a pattern emerges. . .

In the U.S., patterns frequently cross state borders.  Certain demographics more resemble certain geographical regions than state political lines, but not always.
Looking at various maps, going from west to east:

1. The panhandle of Idaho has some of the same demographics as eastern Washington.  Western Idaho including Boise frequently resembles Eastern Oregon in demographic groups.  The two southern-most rural counties in Idaho are consistently more like rural Utah than the rest of the state of Idaho.  There is one small region that lies between lower Western Idaho and Eastern Idaho over the Nevada/Utah border that is very different from all of Idaho.
2. Montana is very scattered and has a patchy pattern of demographic regions.  There is more overlap between Northern Wyoming than there is between Western Montana and anywhere in Idaho.
3.In Wyoming, Cheyenne and Denver are almost completely inseparable demographic regions, sharply contrasting the rural middle of the state.  Western Wyoming is different and more varied than the rest of the state.
4. For all practical purposes, North Dakota is two states, east and west.  The east resembles much of Minnesota, demographically.
5. South Dakota was more homogenous than North Dakota, with a slight tendency to be split into two groups, east/ west.
6. Over and over on practically every map that I looked at, there is a very definite demographic zone that spreads from the tip of Connecticut through Rhode Island, picking up Boston and surrounding the extreme lower edges of New Hampshire and Vermont.  The rest of New Hampshire and Vermont are pretty much the same and very different from this Boston zone.  
7. Lower Maine resembled New Hampshire and Vermont on most of the clusters, but then broke away on others.  Northern Maine is almost always different from the rest of Maine.
8. As has frequently been discussed, Delaware is two states, northern and urban, southern and less urban.  It is that way on virtually every map also.
9. I didn't forget Alaska.  Alaska appears to be homogenous except when certain 'urban elite' demographic groups were examined, then the Anchorage area would stand sharply contrasted to the rest of the state. The Juneau area was frequently the same color as rural Alaska.  


In this discussion, I interchanged cluster, demographic, etc.  (Just thing colored zones on a map if I have confused you).  I avoided discussing what demographic groups were contained in each colored region within each state, because to do so would not be particularly useful since each group represented about 1-2% of a population.  I have only identified trends about where there are pockets of similarity across different demographics inside of a regional zone.

representative picture coming soon! I realize that this info can be a little bit of overload, even if I just summarized  a 300 page book. :)

*I will send this book free to the first person who asks, provided they are willing to send it to the next person.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2003, 11:06:07 am by exitus »
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. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

exitus

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Re:Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2003, 05:57:22 pm »

While I think it might be difficult to find much market research that would identify a culture of liberty, I am starting to be more curious and hoping to find some clues from talk radio after reading this info from Talkers magazine:

http://www.talkers.com/talkaud.html

70% of people who listen to talk radio vote.

A majority of people who listen to talk radio call themselves independents -- more than twice as many as call themselves Republicans with about 10% claiming Libertarian party affiliation.

21% of all listeners define their political philosophy Fiscal Conservative/Social Liberal
<4% of all listeners did not complete high school or college  

Most Praised Person on talk radio: Thomas Jefferson
Most Criticized Person on talk radio: Bill Clinton

'Nuff said?
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". . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue” -- U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

Hank

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Re:Using Market Research to identify best market for liberty.
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2003, 02:36:14 pm »

Quote
Most Praised Person on talk radio: Thomas Jefferson

Why fight the uphill in the market with a names already trashed.

Call our political party "The Jeffersonian Party".

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