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Twin Cities Election
Forum Event Report
C. Daniel Myers
Department of Political Science
11/3/2016
Executive Summary
Democracy only works when people can talk to each other about important collective
decisions. This is the central claim of deliberative theories of democracy, which argue
that the quality of public debate preceding a vote is as important as the vote itself. It’s an
idea that resonates with many of our most cherished political institutions, from the New
England town hall meeting to the Constitutional Convention. Today we find ourselves in
the midst of the most heated presidential campaign in recent memory, taking place
against a backdrop of growing polarization along partisan lines. In this environment, is
it possible to have the kinds of conversation that makes democracy meaningful?
We sought to answer this question by launching the Twin Cities Election Forum. This
event brought together 52 Twin-Cities area residents, representative of the 7-county
metropolitan area in terms of their demographic characteristics and political views, for
five hours of discussion about the 2016 Presidential Election. The group’s formal charge
was to produce a list of reasons why Twin Cities voters might support each of the major-
party presidential candidates. The goal of this process was not to change participants’
favored candidate, but rather to cultivate understanding across the partisan divide. This
forum was a joint project of Professor Dan Myers of the University of Minnesota
Department of Political Science and the Jefferson Center, and was supported by a grant
from the College of Liberal Arts Joan Aldous Innovation Fund.
The forum’s result was a list of ten reasons in favor of each candidate (Table 1). The top
reason for each demonstrates a key cleavage in the race: Supporters of Trump view him
as change agent who will shake up the way that politics works. Supporters of Clinton
view her as a competent, experienced public servant who has the personality and
temperament to represent the nation. Beyond these qualities, most of the reasons cited
for supporting each candidate fell upon surprisingly familiar ideological lines: Taxes,
immigration, judicial appointments, and the Affordable Care Act all appear on the lists.
Beyond creating this list of reasons, a key test for the power of deliberation is whether it
helped supporters of each candidate understand the perspective of the other side. We
find that it did. By the end of the event, nearly all Clinton supporters said that they could
understand the perspective of someone who found the pro-Trump reasons convincing;
similarly, a large majority of Trump supporters said that they could understand the
perspective underlying the pro-Clinton reasons.
Deliberation is not a panacea. The Twin Cities Election Forum did not produce
consensus on which candidate is best for the country. However, by asking supporters of
each candidate to sit down and talk about the candidates, this forum helped both sides
understand each other and recognize one another as fellow citizens deserving of respect.
This mutual respect is sorely lacking in our current political debates, but is essential to
maintaining a functioning democracy.
Deliberative Procedure
Participants in the Twin Cities Election Forum were recruited through a two-stage
process. First, we mailed a letter to ten thousand addresses, randomly drawn from the
list of registered voters in the seven-county metro area, inviting the addressee to apply
to participate in the forum. 240 people applied to participate by completing a brief
survey that asked them their candidate preference alongside with several demographic
questions. From this pool of 240, we selected 60 participants who matched the metro
area’s demographic and political make-up. 50 of those who were selected agreed to
participate and attended the forum. These, along with two applicants added at the last
minute, comprised the final set of participants. Participants were paid a $75 stipend in
recognition of the five-hour time commitment required to take part in the forum
The event started by seating participants in groups of five to seven, with each group
containing at least two Trump supporters and at least two Clinton supporters. Each
group was led by two student moderators who had spent the previous month training
for political facilitation with Jefferson Center staff. After an opening presentation by
Professor Myers about the role of the President in our constitutional system, the
participants heard Chris Fields, Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, and Ken
Martin, Chair of the Minnesota DFL, make the case for their respective presidential
candidates, followed by a question and answer session.
The rest of the forum was spent discussing the candidates in small groups. Each group
was charged with producing a list of three reasons why a voter in the Twin Cities area
might support each candidate. After all nine groups finalized their lists, event staff
consolidated them into a top ten list for each of the candidates.
After these lists were finalized, we asked participants to express their individual opinion
about each of the reasons. Specifically, we asked participants to tell us whether they
found each reason convincing, and, regardless of whether they found it convincing,
whether they could understand the perspective of someone who did find that reason
convincing.
Results
Why Clinton? Why Trump?
The top ten reasons touch on a wide range of issues, but for each candidate the top
reason had little to do with policy and more to do with what the candidate represented.
Nearly every group identified Trump’s positioning as the anti-establishment candidate
as one of the top reasons to support him. Clinton, on the other hand, was seen as a
Top Ten Reasons Favoring Clinton Top Ten Reasons Favoring Trump
C1. Hillary Clinton has dedicated her career
to public service and has a tremendous
amount of political experience.
T1. Donald Trump represents political
change. He isn’t a career politician, he isn’t
beholden to special interests, he has new
perspectives, he would run things
differently, and he’s anti-establishment.
C2. Hillary Clinton has extensive foreign
policy experience and respect from foreign
leaders.
T2. In all realms of decision-making, Donald
Trump wants to put America first.
C3. Hillary Clinton has a strong policy on
health care reform and will work to fix the
Affordable Care Act.
T3. Donald Trump has business experience.
C4. Hillary Clinton will nominate liberal
pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court.
T4. Donald Trump will appoint conservative
justices at all levels of the judiciary.
C5. Hillary Clinton will continue progressive
domestic policies (e.g. economic policy).
T5. Donald Trump has a strong plan for
immigration and border security.
C6. Hillary Clinton has a stable personality
and temperament.
T6. Donald Trump represents fiscal
responsibility. He will run government more
efficiently, pursue a balanced budget, and
lower taxes.
C7. Hillary Clinton would be the first female
President of the United States.
T7. Donald Trump will be tougher on
terrorism.
C8. Hillary Clinton supports comprehensive
immigration reform.
T8. Donald Trump supports policies to
create more American jobs.
C9. Hillary Clinton advocates for equal
rights for women, transgender individuals,
and same-sex couples.
T9. Donald Trump will support the repeal of
the Affordable Care Act.
C10. Hillary Clinton advocates for action on
climate change.
T10. Donald Trump is the law and order
candidate.
Table 1: Top 10 reasons in favor of each candidate
competent, stable, experienced public servant. While this dynamic is sometimes lost in
the day-to-day campaign coverage, our forum participants made it clear that the
primary way they saw the race was between one candidate who promises to shake things
up and another who promises to keep things sailing smoothly forward.
Percent finding this reason
somewhat or very convincing
Percent finding this reason
somewhat or very convincing
Reason Clinton
Voters
Trump
Voters
3rd-
Party
Voters
Reason Clinton
Voters
Trump
Voters
3rd-
Party
Voters
Clinton #1 96% 62% 40% Trump #1 35% 100% 80%
Clinton
#2
96% 67% 80% Trump
#2
15% 100% 80%
Clinton #3 88% 29% 20% Trump
#3
38% 95% 60%
Clinton
#4
88% 52% 40% Trump
#4
46% 90% 40%
Clinton #5 88% 57% 60% Trump #5 19% 95% 20%
Clinton
#6
92% 29% 60% Trump
#6
15% 90% 40%
Clinton #7 88% 29% 40% Trump #7 50% 95% 80%
Clinton
#8
96% 33% 20% Trump
#8
12% 100% 80%
Clinton
#9
88% 33% 80% Trump
#9
31% 95% 100%
Clinton
#10
85% 33% 60% Trump
#10
23% 90% 60%
Table 2: Percent of participants who found each reason convincing
Beyond these broad characterizations, most of the remaining reasons describe familiar
ideological divides. Despite talk of the race scrambling traditional political coalitions,
forum participants expect Trump to appoint conservative judges, lower taxes, and repeal
the Affordable Care Act. Clinton was expected to appoint liberal, pro-choice judges, fix
the ACA while maintaining a commitment to universal health care, and generally work
towards progressive goals on economic and social issues.
It is worth remembering that these lists do not represent an endorsement of these
reasons by the
forum participants.
Instead, they
represent reasons
why forum
participants
thought metro-
area voters might
support each
candidate. Which
of the reasons did
forum participants
find personally
convincing? Table
2 shows the
percent of forum
participants who
found each reason
to be a convincing
reason to vote for
that candidate. We
divide the results
by the candidate
supported to show
which reasons
favoring each
candidate were
most convincing to
their own
supporters, as well
as to the other
candidate’s
supporters.
Percent who
could understand
why others find
this reason
convincing
Percent who
could understand
why others find
this reason
convincing
Reason Trump
Voters
3rd-
Party
Voters
Reason Clinton
Voters
3rd-
Party
Voters
Clinton #1 76% 100% Trump #1 96% 100%
Clinton #2 67% 100% Trump #2 77% 100%
Clinton #3 57% 60% Trump #3 92% 100%
Clinton #4 76% 40% Trump #4 77% 100%
Clinton #5 71% 80% Trump #5 69% 60%
Clinton #6 47% 60% Trump #6 73% 80%
Clinton #7 62% 40% Trump #7 84% 100%
Clinton #8 52% 40% Trump #8 77% 80%
Clinton #9 62% 100% Trump #9 58% 80%
Clinton
#10
62% 60% Trump
#10
65% 60%
Table 3: Percent of participants who could understand
reasons for the other side
Unsurprisingly, nearly all participants found the reasons listed in favor of their
preferred candidate convincing. Interestingly, a large majority of Trump voters found
arguments about Clinton’s political and foreign policy experience (Clinton #1 and #2)
convincing, despite also endorsing Trump’s outsider appeal (Trump #1). Fewer Clinton
voters found any of the Trump reasons convincing, though half of Clinton voters found
Trump’s stance on terrorism convincing (Trump #7). Supporters of 3rd-party
candidates, most of whom favored Gary Johnson, tended to find more of the pro-Trump
reasons convincing than the pro-Clinton reasons.
Understanding the Other Side
The central goal of the forum was not only to produce a list of reasons why people might
support each candidate, but also to help participants understand how supporters of the
opposing candidate made their decision. To understand whether this forum achieved
this goal we asked participants whether they could understand the perspective of
someone who did find the each of the reasons convincing, regardless of whether they
themselves found the reason to be convincing. Table 3 shows the percent of Trump and
3rd-party voters who could understand the perspective underlying each reason in favor
of Clinton and the percentage of Clinton supporters who could understand the
perspective underlying each reason in favor of Trump.
In general, forum participants reported a high level of understanding of perspectives
different from their own. In all but one case, a majority said they could at least
somewhat understand the perspective underlying the reasons in favor of the other side.
Notably, a large majority of Trump supporters said they could understand the
perspective of those who found Clinton’s experience to be a convincing reason, while
nearly all Clinton supporters said that they understood the perspective of those who
found Trump’s outsider status to be convincing.
In general, Clinton voters reported a better ability to understand the perspective of
Trump voters than the other way around. The average pro-Clinton reason was only
understandable to 63% of Trump supporters, while the average pro-Trump reason was
understandable to 77% of Clinton supporters. Still, both sides had several reasons they
found particularly unintelligible. For Trump supporters, these were Clinton’s stance on
the Affordable Care Act, her temperament, and her stance on comprehensive
immigration reform (Clinton #3, 6, and 8). For Clinton supporters, it was most difficult
to understand why some found Trump’s border security plan, his vow to repeal the ACA,
and his law and order rhetoric to be points in his favor (Trump #5, 9, 10).
Characteristic Goal Actual
Candidate
Support
Trump: 20
Clinton: 26
Johnson: 5
Stein: 1
Trump: 22
Clinton: 25
Johnson: 4
Stein: 1
Gender Male: 26
Female: 26
Male: 27
Female: 25
Age 18-29: 10
30-44: 15
45-64: 19
65+: 8
18-29: 7
30-44: 12
45-64: 20
65+: 13
Education High School or Less: 17
Some College: 12
College Degree: 17
Graduate Degree: 6
High School or Less: 9
Some College: 15
College Degree: 21
Graduate Degree: 7
Income < $14,999: 4
$ 15,000-34,999: 7
$ 35,000-74,999: 15
$ 75,000-149,999: 18
> $150,000: 8
< $14,999: 7
$ 15,000-34,999: 7
$ 35,000-74,999: 15
$ 75,000-149,999: 17
> $150,000: 6
County Anoka: 6
Carver: 2
Dakota: 7
Hennepin: 21
Ramsey: 9
Scott: 3
Washington: 4
Anoka: 7
Carver: 1
Dakota: 7
Hennepin: 23
Ramsey: 7
Scott: 2
Washington: 5
Race White: 40
Black: 4
Native American: 1
Asian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Other: 1
White: 40
Black: 4
Native American: 2
Asian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Other: 1
Table 4: Participant characteristics
Evaluating the Twin Cities Election Forum Procedure
We evaluate the deliberative procedure along two dimensions. First, we examine
whether the recruitment process met its goal of producing a group of metro-area voters
who were demographically and politically representative of the Twin Cities metro area.
Second, we draw on participants’ evaluations of the event to judge whether deliberation
was unbiased, respectful, and informative.
Demographic and Political Balance
As Table 4 shows, the recruitment process largely succeeded in bringing together a
group of Twin Cities-area voters that matched the political and demographic
composition of the metro area as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, the distribution of
candidate support largely matched the distribution of metro-area support in the
September 12 Star Tribune poll. Our panel also matched or came very close to matching
the metro area’s demographic balance in terms of gender, race and county of residence.
Participants in the forum were slightly better educated than the county as a whole,
though this may be somewhat balanced by the fact that they had slightly lower incomes.
Finally, the panel skewed somewhat older than the metro-area as a whole.
Participant Evaluations of the Process
We measured the quality of deliberation by asking participants to indicate how much
they agreed or disagreed with a battery of statements about the event. Across all
measures, participants provided very positive evaluations of the process and the quality
of deliberation in the forum.
 92 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statements “I felt comfortable at
the event” and “the meeting today was fair and unbiased. No particular view was
favored.”
 87 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “other participants seemed to hear and
understand my views” while 92 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “people at
this meeting listened to one another respectfully and courteously.”
 87 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “even when I disagreed with them,
most people made reasonable points and tried to make serious arguments.”
 90 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I had fun today. Politics
should be like this more often.” 94 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “I
would participate in an event like this again.”
Finally, 81 percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that voters should take the
conclusions of the meeting into consideration when choosing who to support in the 2016
Presidential Election.

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Twin Cities Election Forum Report

  • 1. Twin Cities Election Forum Event Report C. Daniel Myers Department of Political Science 11/3/2016
  • 2. Executive Summary Democracy only works when people can talk to each other about important collective decisions. This is the central claim of deliberative theories of democracy, which argue that the quality of public debate preceding a vote is as important as the vote itself. It’s an idea that resonates with many of our most cherished political institutions, from the New England town hall meeting to the Constitutional Convention. Today we find ourselves in the midst of the most heated presidential campaign in recent memory, taking place against a backdrop of growing polarization along partisan lines. In this environment, is it possible to have the kinds of conversation that makes democracy meaningful? We sought to answer this question by launching the Twin Cities Election Forum. This event brought together 52 Twin-Cities area residents, representative of the 7-county metropolitan area in terms of their demographic characteristics and political views, for five hours of discussion about the 2016 Presidential Election. The group’s formal charge was to produce a list of reasons why Twin Cities voters might support each of the major- party presidential candidates. The goal of this process was not to change participants’ favored candidate, but rather to cultivate understanding across the partisan divide. This forum was a joint project of Professor Dan Myers of the University of Minnesota Department of Political Science and the Jefferson Center, and was supported by a grant from the College of Liberal Arts Joan Aldous Innovation Fund. The forum’s result was a list of ten reasons in favor of each candidate (Table 1). The top reason for each demonstrates a key cleavage in the race: Supporters of Trump view him as change agent who will shake up the way that politics works. Supporters of Clinton view her as a competent, experienced public servant who has the personality and temperament to represent the nation. Beyond these qualities, most of the reasons cited for supporting each candidate fell upon surprisingly familiar ideological lines: Taxes, immigration, judicial appointments, and the Affordable Care Act all appear on the lists. Beyond creating this list of reasons, a key test for the power of deliberation is whether it helped supporters of each candidate understand the perspective of the other side. We find that it did. By the end of the event, nearly all Clinton supporters said that they could understand the perspective of someone who found the pro-Trump reasons convincing; similarly, a large majority of Trump supporters said that they could understand the perspective underlying the pro-Clinton reasons. Deliberation is not a panacea. The Twin Cities Election Forum did not produce consensus on which candidate is best for the country. However, by asking supporters of each candidate to sit down and talk about the candidates, this forum helped both sides understand each other and recognize one another as fellow citizens deserving of respect. This mutual respect is sorely lacking in our current political debates, but is essential to maintaining a functioning democracy.
  • 3. Deliberative Procedure Participants in the Twin Cities Election Forum were recruited through a two-stage process. First, we mailed a letter to ten thousand addresses, randomly drawn from the list of registered voters in the seven-county metro area, inviting the addressee to apply to participate in the forum. 240 people applied to participate by completing a brief survey that asked them their candidate preference alongside with several demographic questions. From this pool of 240, we selected 60 participants who matched the metro area’s demographic and political make-up. 50 of those who were selected agreed to participate and attended the forum. These, along with two applicants added at the last minute, comprised the final set of participants. Participants were paid a $75 stipend in recognition of the five-hour time commitment required to take part in the forum The event started by seating participants in groups of five to seven, with each group containing at least two Trump supporters and at least two Clinton supporters. Each group was led by two student moderators who had spent the previous month training for political facilitation with Jefferson Center staff. After an opening presentation by Professor Myers about the role of the President in our constitutional system, the participants heard Chris Fields, Vice-Chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, and Ken Martin, Chair of the Minnesota DFL, make the case for their respective presidential candidates, followed by a question and answer session. The rest of the forum was spent discussing the candidates in small groups. Each group was charged with producing a list of three reasons why a voter in the Twin Cities area might support each candidate. After all nine groups finalized their lists, event staff consolidated them into a top ten list for each of the candidates. After these lists were finalized, we asked participants to express their individual opinion about each of the reasons. Specifically, we asked participants to tell us whether they found each reason convincing, and, regardless of whether they found it convincing, whether they could understand the perspective of someone who did find that reason convincing. Results Why Clinton? Why Trump? The top ten reasons touch on a wide range of issues, but for each candidate the top reason had little to do with policy and more to do with what the candidate represented. Nearly every group identified Trump’s positioning as the anti-establishment candidate as one of the top reasons to support him. Clinton, on the other hand, was seen as a
  • 4. Top Ten Reasons Favoring Clinton Top Ten Reasons Favoring Trump C1. Hillary Clinton has dedicated her career to public service and has a tremendous amount of political experience. T1. Donald Trump represents political change. He isn’t a career politician, he isn’t beholden to special interests, he has new perspectives, he would run things differently, and he’s anti-establishment. C2. Hillary Clinton has extensive foreign policy experience and respect from foreign leaders. T2. In all realms of decision-making, Donald Trump wants to put America first. C3. Hillary Clinton has a strong policy on health care reform and will work to fix the Affordable Care Act. T3. Donald Trump has business experience. C4. Hillary Clinton will nominate liberal pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court. T4. Donald Trump will appoint conservative justices at all levels of the judiciary. C5. Hillary Clinton will continue progressive domestic policies (e.g. economic policy). T5. Donald Trump has a strong plan for immigration and border security. C6. Hillary Clinton has a stable personality and temperament. T6. Donald Trump represents fiscal responsibility. He will run government more efficiently, pursue a balanced budget, and lower taxes. C7. Hillary Clinton would be the first female President of the United States. T7. Donald Trump will be tougher on terrorism. C8. Hillary Clinton supports comprehensive immigration reform. T8. Donald Trump supports policies to create more American jobs. C9. Hillary Clinton advocates for equal rights for women, transgender individuals, and same-sex couples. T9. Donald Trump will support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. C10. Hillary Clinton advocates for action on climate change. T10. Donald Trump is the law and order candidate. Table 1: Top 10 reasons in favor of each candidate
  • 5. competent, stable, experienced public servant. While this dynamic is sometimes lost in the day-to-day campaign coverage, our forum participants made it clear that the primary way they saw the race was between one candidate who promises to shake things up and another who promises to keep things sailing smoothly forward. Percent finding this reason somewhat or very convincing Percent finding this reason somewhat or very convincing Reason Clinton Voters Trump Voters 3rd- Party Voters Reason Clinton Voters Trump Voters 3rd- Party Voters Clinton #1 96% 62% 40% Trump #1 35% 100% 80% Clinton #2 96% 67% 80% Trump #2 15% 100% 80% Clinton #3 88% 29% 20% Trump #3 38% 95% 60% Clinton #4 88% 52% 40% Trump #4 46% 90% 40% Clinton #5 88% 57% 60% Trump #5 19% 95% 20% Clinton #6 92% 29% 60% Trump #6 15% 90% 40% Clinton #7 88% 29% 40% Trump #7 50% 95% 80% Clinton #8 96% 33% 20% Trump #8 12% 100% 80% Clinton #9 88% 33% 80% Trump #9 31% 95% 100% Clinton #10 85% 33% 60% Trump #10 23% 90% 60% Table 2: Percent of participants who found each reason convincing
  • 6. Beyond these broad characterizations, most of the remaining reasons describe familiar ideological divides. Despite talk of the race scrambling traditional political coalitions, forum participants expect Trump to appoint conservative judges, lower taxes, and repeal the Affordable Care Act. Clinton was expected to appoint liberal, pro-choice judges, fix the ACA while maintaining a commitment to universal health care, and generally work towards progressive goals on economic and social issues. It is worth remembering that these lists do not represent an endorsement of these reasons by the forum participants. Instead, they represent reasons why forum participants thought metro- area voters might support each candidate. Which of the reasons did forum participants find personally convincing? Table 2 shows the percent of forum participants who found each reason to be a convincing reason to vote for that candidate. We divide the results by the candidate supported to show which reasons favoring each candidate were most convincing to their own supporters, as well as to the other candidate’s supporters. Percent who could understand why others find this reason convincing Percent who could understand why others find this reason convincing Reason Trump Voters 3rd- Party Voters Reason Clinton Voters 3rd- Party Voters Clinton #1 76% 100% Trump #1 96% 100% Clinton #2 67% 100% Trump #2 77% 100% Clinton #3 57% 60% Trump #3 92% 100% Clinton #4 76% 40% Trump #4 77% 100% Clinton #5 71% 80% Trump #5 69% 60% Clinton #6 47% 60% Trump #6 73% 80% Clinton #7 62% 40% Trump #7 84% 100% Clinton #8 52% 40% Trump #8 77% 80% Clinton #9 62% 100% Trump #9 58% 80% Clinton #10 62% 60% Trump #10 65% 60% Table 3: Percent of participants who could understand reasons for the other side
  • 7. Unsurprisingly, nearly all participants found the reasons listed in favor of their preferred candidate convincing. Interestingly, a large majority of Trump voters found arguments about Clinton’s political and foreign policy experience (Clinton #1 and #2) convincing, despite also endorsing Trump’s outsider appeal (Trump #1). Fewer Clinton voters found any of the Trump reasons convincing, though half of Clinton voters found Trump’s stance on terrorism convincing (Trump #7). Supporters of 3rd-party candidates, most of whom favored Gary Johnson, tended to find more of the pro-Trump reasons convincing than the pro-Clinton reasons. Understanding the Other Side The central goal of the forum was not only to produce a list of reasons why people might support each candidate, but also to help participants understand how supporters of the opposing candidate made their decision. To understand whether this forum achieved this goal we asked participants whether they could understand the perspective of someone who did find the each of the reasons convincing, regardless of whether they themselves found the reason to be convincing. Table 3 shows the percent of Trump and 3rd-party voters who could understand the perspective underlying each reason in favor of Clinton and the percentage of Clinton supporters who could understand the perspective underlying each reason in favor of Trump. In general, forum participants reported a high level of understanding of perspectives different from their own. In all but one case, a majority said they could at least somewhat understand the perspective underlying the reasons in favor of the other side. Notably, a large majority of Trump supporters said they could understand the perspective of those who found Clinton’s experience to be a convincing reason, while nearly all Clinton supporters said that they understood the perspective of those who found Trump’s outsider status to be convincing. In general, Clinton voters reported a better ability to understand the perspective of Trump voters than the other way around. The average pro-Clinton reason was only understandable to 63% of Trump supporters, while the average pro-Trump reason was understandable to 77% of Clinton supporters. Still, both sides had several reasons they found particularly unintelligible. For Trump supporters, these were Clinton’s stance on the Affordable Care Act, her temperament, and her stance on comprehensive immigration reform (Clinton #3, 6, and 8). For Clinton supporters, it was most difficult to understand why some found Trump’s border security plan, his vow to repeal the ACA, and his law and order rhetoric to be points in his favor (Trump #5, 9, 10).
  • 8. Characteristic Goal Actual Candidate Support Trump: 20 Clinton: 26 Johnson: 5 Stein: 1 Trump: 22 Clinton: 25 Johnson: 4 Stein: 1 Gender Male: 26 Female: 26 Male: 27 Female: 25 Age 18-29: 10 30-44: 15 45-64: 19 65+: 8 18-29: 7 30-44: 12 45-64: 20 65+: 13 Education High School or Less: 17 Some College: 12 College Degree: 17 Graduate Degree: 6 High School or Less: 9 Some College: 15 College Degree: 21 Graduate Degree: 7 Income < $14,999: 4 $ 15,000-34,999: 7 $ 35,000-74,999: 15 $ 75,000-149,999: 18 > $150,000: 8 < $14,999: 7 $ 15,000-34,999: 7 $ 35,000-74,999: 15 $ 75,000-149,999: 17 > $150,000: 6 County Anoka: 6 Carver: 2 Dakota: 7 Hennepin: 21 Ramsey: 9 Scott: 3 Washington: 4 Anoka: 7 Carver: 1 Dakota: 7 Hennepin: 23 Ramsey: 7 Scott: 2 Washington: 5 Race White: 40 Black: 4 Native American: 1 Asian: 3 Hispanic/Latino: 3 Other: 1 White: 40 Black: 4 Native American: 2 Asian: 4 Hispanic/Latino: 1 Other: 1 Table 4: Participant characteristics
  • 9. Evaluating the Twin Cities Election Forum Procedure We evaluate the deliberative procedure along two dimensions. First, we examine whether the recruitment process met its goal of producing a group of metro-area voters who were demographically and politically representative of the Twin Cities metro area. Second, we draw on participants’ evaluations of the event to judge whether deliberation was unbiased, respectful, and informative. Demographic and Political Balance As Table 4 shows, the recruitment process largely succeeded in bringing together a group of Twin Cities-area voters that matched the political and demographic composition of the metro area as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, the distribution of candidate support largely matched the distribution of metro-area support in the September 12 Star Tribune poll. Our panel also matched or came very close to matching the metro area’s demographic balance in terms of gender, race and county of residence. Participants in the forum were slightly better educated than the county as a whole, though this may be somewhat balanced by the fact that they had slightly lower incomes. Finally, the panel skewed somewhat older than the metro-area as a whole. Participant Evaluations of the Process We measured the quality of deliberation by asking participants to indicate how much they agreed or disagreed with a battery of statements about the event. Across all measures, participants provided very positive evaluations of the process and the quality of deliberation in the forum.  92 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statements “I felt comfortable at the event” and “the meeting today was fair and unbiased. No particular view was favored.”  87 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “other participants seemed to hear and understand my views” while 92 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “people at this meeting listened to one another respectfully and courteously.”  87 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “even when I disagreed with them, most people made reasonable points and tried to make serious arguments.”  90 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “I had fun today. Politics should be like this more often.” 94 percent agreed or strongly agreed that “I would participate in an event like this again.”
  • 10. Finally, 81 percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that voters should take the conclusions of the meeting into consideration when choosing who to support in the 2016 Presidential Election.