Poll: Moviegoers More Likely to Vote in Midterm Elections

Moviegoers More Likely to vote
Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

Politicians hoping to get elected should try canvassing their local movie theaters. Frequent moviegoers are more likely to vote than those who largely steer clear of the cinemas, according to a poll by research firm C4.

Fifty eight percent of people who go to the movies between 11 and 23 times a year say they plan to vote in next Tuesday’s midterm elections compared to the 41% of people who go to the movies between two and five times per year. Sixty one percent of avid moviegoers — those who see more than 24 movies in theaters each year — said they intend to vote.

“It shows frequent moviegoers are more socially engaged. Perhaps they get out of the house more or know more about what’s going on and maybe know more about pop culture,” said Ben Spergel, executive vice president of consumer insights for C4.

To get the results, C4 polled 2,600 people and says its results have a margin of error of between 2% and 3%. Spergel said some of the reason that frequent moviegoers over index is that they tend to be older. There’s a reason politicians hit up senior centers — older people tend to vote.

The genres that people embraced also provided insight into their voting habits. Forty nine percent of horror and 48% of comedy fans intend to vote, compared with 61% of independent film aficionados and 58% of drama lovers. Fifty three percent of action film junkies intend to vote, while 54% of science fiction film fans and family film fans will stop by the ballot box.

“The art house and drama genres speak to moviegoers of an older generation,” said Spergel. “Comedy and horror tend to skew younger and it shows what’s going on with American politics, which is that it’s not reaching younger people.”

Advertising in movie theaters has become commonplace in recent years as brands and companies look for ways to hawk products to captive audiences in the DVR era. If these results are accurate, will political ads be a mainstay alongside spots for Gatorade and M&Ms?

“It could change the way political advertising is done,” said Spergel. “Politicians spend a ton on television and don’t know who they’re reaching. There may be some legal or ethical reason why they don’t advertise in theaters, but they have an audience here that’s likely to vote.”

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