Amanpour Goodwin Web
A virtual convention makes history
17:59 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

The Democratic National Convention took over the conversation surrounding the presidential race this week, and more Americans had positive things to say about the party’s nominee – former Vice President Joe Biden – than at any point in the last eight weeks.

These findings come from The Breakthrough, a project from CNN, SSRS and researchers from Georgetown University and the University of Michigan asking Americans what they have heard, read or seen about each of the presidential candidates lately. The survey was in the field beginning the second day of the convention and continued through Sunday night.

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The number of people who spoke positively about Biden jumped sharply, and outpaced negative responses: there were about 1.6 positive responses for every negative response, the highest ratio so far.

At the same time, President Donald Trump’s ratio of positive to negative sentiment dipped to its lowest point since early July when the project began tracking – fewer than one positive response was recorded for each negative response.

The tonal shift in references to Biden suggests the Democratic convention’s messaging around the former vice president landed with a sizable share of the public, and the campaign’s challenge will be to maintain positive sentiment around Biden even as the focus has shifted to the Republican National Convention this week.

Increases in the use of positives when discussing Biden came across the board, but the biggest jumps came from Democrats, women, Latinos and college graduates.

“Kamala Harris” and “vice president” remained the top two most cited words for Biden, but they were followed this week by “convention,” “Democratic,” “good,” and “speech.” Several other words seemingly related to the convention landed in Biden’s top 20 – including “nomination,” “watch,” “see” and “vote.” Convention-related words were Biden’s overall top topic.

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And for the second straight week, Biden and Trump were about even in the share of Americans who had heard something about them – 69% for Trump, 68% for Biden – reversing a Trump advantage earlier in the project. This, too, will be a data point to watch as the focus shifts away from Biden’s selection of a vice president and his party’s convention.

Trump’s top word this week remained “coronavirus,” as it has been for each of the past eight weeks, though negative mentions of the candidate landed as the top topic for the President this week.

A significant number of Americans cited words related to the Postal Service and vote by mail when asked what they had heard about Trump recently, and some of the top new words for Trump included “Goodyear” and “tire,” likely references to his call for a boycott of the company, as well as “Democratic,” perhaps a reference to the criticism he received at that party’s convention.