Tapping into the minds of undecided voters

Voters wait in line to cast their Super Tuesday ballots at a polling station located at the University Co-op in Austin, Texas on Tuesday. AP Photo
Voters wait in line to cast their Super Tuesday ballots at a polling station located at the University Co-op in Austin, Texas on Tuesday. AP Photo

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — In these final days leading up to the election there is a major push to sway undecided voters.

Focus groups and polling can give campaigns a good idea about how these voters are leaning, but breakthrough research now being used in the world of politics is giving analysts a look inside the minds of the undecided.

“We spoke to people in Tampa, Florida specifically, and Columbus, Ohio, because those are two major swing cities in swing states, and I think the most interesting thing we found with Tampa voters, is that they were very reluctant to make a decision before seeing how the entire election would play out. In fact, they thought it was actually irresponsible to make a decision now,” said Leslie Zane, founder of the Center for Emotional Marketing, in the New York area.

Using Projective Techniques, Zane can actually tap into the subconscious minds of undecided voters.

“So we delved into their mind going back many, many years so these are their cumulative memories,” said Zane.

She explained how people in the research group were shown images ranging from Donald Trump during his days as a reality TV Star on NBC’s The Apprentice, to books featuring Hillary Clinton as the author of “It Takes a Village,” and exposed to all sorts of memories surrounding the two candidates.

The imagery taps into emotions that show many undecided voters how they will vote, even if they are unaware in the conscious stream of thought. However, a decision could be made today and change tomorrow, if new triggers are set into place, Zane explains.

“Your brain is actually physically changing, making new branches and new connections, so it’s entirely possible. But you would need to work hard to eliminate those negative associations and substitute them with positive associations.”

Because both candidates know negative emotions can sway voters, you can count on a flood of last minute campaign ads trying to tap into undecided minds.

For decades, Zane has used Projective Techniques for Fortune 500 companies like Snickers, Aquafina and Pepsi, and now that same research is being used in the world of politics.

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