Cygnal Pollster: The Influence of the “Ticked-off Voter” in the 2024 election

Discover how the emergence of ticked-off voters is reshaping American politics and guiding campaign strategy for 2024.

What to Know: 

  • The emergence of ticked-off voters signifies a significant shift in American politics, fueled by discontent and disillusionment with the status quo.

  • Mitch Brown's, a leading pollster at GOP analytics firm Cygnal, shared insights shed light on the demographics and grievances of ticked-off voters, emphasizing their impact on electoral outcomes.

  • The forgotten Trump voter cohort, identified by Brown, played a pivotal role in the 2016 election but showed decreased engagement in 2020.

  • Third-party dynamics, exemplified by figures like Bobby Kennedy Jr., could influence the outcome of the 2024 election, shaping the future of American politics.

A new force has emerged in the dynamic field of American politics: the irate voter. Disillusioned with the status quo, this demographic represents a significant shift in the traditional voter profile. Analysis in greater detail reveals the complex dynamics causing this radical turn in political opinion, paving the way for an engrossing investigation into the elements influencing the 2024 election environment.

The Rise of a New Voter Demographic

A new demographic has emerged as a potent force: the ticked-off voter. These individuals, often hailing from the working class, represent a departure from the conventional voter archetype. Mitch Brown is a pollster at Cygnal, a data and analytics firm specializing in political campaigns and public affairs. He provides insights and analysis on voter behavior, campaign strategies, and electoral trends.

The political landscape in America is clearly undergoing a seismic shift as we dig deeper into the trends fueling voter dissatisfaction. The rise of the ticked-off voter heralds a new era of political engagement, one characterized by discontent, disillusionment, and a fervent desire for change. 

But who exactly are these ticked-off voters, and what drives their discontent?

Identifying the Ticked-off Working Class: Who Are They?

Mitch Brown's insights shared in an interview on TNT State of the Nation suggest that the ticked-off voter demographic primarily consists of working-class individuals, particularly blue-collar workers under 40 years old, earning below $100,000 annually. Despite not being staunch supporters of Donald Trump, they express profound disillusionment with both major political parties, driven by dissatisfaction with the nation's state, the economy, and their personal circumstances.


Characteristics of the "Ticked-off" Voter

  • Demographics:
    • Male
    • Under 40 years old
  • Income:
    • Earns $80,000 or less annually
  • Occupation:
    • Blue-collar job
  • Political Affiliation/Alignment:
    • No strong political affiliation or alignment
  • Sentiments:
    • Upset with both major political parties
  • Discontent:
    • Expresses profound disillusionment with the state of the nation, the economy, and personal circumstances

Understanding the Forgotten Trump Voter

The concept of the "forgotten Trump voter" illuminates a profound demographic shift within American politics, as highlighted by Brown. This group, which had a significant impact on the 2016 election, demonstrated a noteworthy trend of disengagement in the 2020 election cycle. The significance of this phenomenon is highlighted by Brown's analysis, which signals a shift in voter behavior from traditional patterns and changing dynamics within the electorate.

A Shift in Political Dynamics

A closer examination of voter trends reveals a notable shift in political dynamics. Comparing voter turnout between the 2016 and 2020 elections, a pattern emerges: the ticked-off voter turned out in force in 2016 but largely abstained from voting in 2020. This phenomenon highlights their status as the "forgotten Trump voter," Brown suggests, a demographic overlooked by traditional political strategies.

In his discourse, Brown emphasizes the pivotal role played by the forgotten Trump voter cohort in shaping the outcome of the 2016 election. Their enthusiastic participation contributed to a paradigm shift in political discourse and electoral outcomes. 

Analyzing Voter Turnout Patterns: 2016 vs. 2020

Analysis of voter turnout patterns between the 2016 and 2020 elections reveals a stark contrast. While this demographic showed robust participation in 2016, their absence at the polls in 2020 underscores a critical trend. It becomes necessary to investigate the underlying causes of the disengagement seen in the 2020 election. Beyond mere apathy, factors such as disillusionment with political parties, economic anxieties, and a perceived lack of representation may have contributed to this phenomenon.


Through an examination of voter turnout patterns and the factors influencing disengagement, a clearer understanding of the forgotten Trump voter emerges. Their absence from the electoral process in 2020 underscores the complexity of their disillusionment and the need for targeted strategies to re-engage this pivotal demographic.

Political Strategies and Campaign Dynamics

Trump's approach, as elucidated by Brown, acknowledges the significance of the forgotten Trump voter. These individuals, predominantly working-class blue-collar workers under the age of 40, hold a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the state of the nation, the economy, and their own lives. Brown emphasizes that Trump's campaign recognizes the potential of this demographic, particularly in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Georgia.

On the other hand, Biden's strategy appears more focused on retaining the voters who supported him in 2020, rather than actively pursuing the ticked-off voter group. Brown highlights this distinction, noting that the Biden team seems less inclined to prioritize engaging with this demographic. Instead, they aim to consolidate their existing support base.

Trump vs. Biden: Contrasting Approaches to Engaging with the Ticked-off Voter

In the contest between Trump and Biden, their approaches to engaging with the ticked-off voter demographic reveal contrasting strategies. Brown portrays Trump's campaign as actively vying for the support of this demographic, particularly in blue-collar areas where disillusionment with the political establishment runs high. Examples of this are Trump attending UFC fights and Trump’s rising poll numbers among black males and hispanics in key swing states.  By acknowledging the grievances of these voters and addressing their concerns, Trump seeks to solidify his base and sway undecided voters in key battleground states.

In contrast, Biden's approach appears less focused on directly targeting the ticked-off voter demographic. Instead, the Biden team's strategy centers on maintaining support from those who backed him in the previous election. While Biden's campaign may seek to address broader issues affecting working-class voters, their emphasis lies on retention rather than active pursuit.

A Powerful Voting GroupThe disenchanted voter demographic presents a significant factor in determining electoral outcomes, particularly in swing states. Their disillusionment with traditional politics and deep-seated dissatisfaction with the status quo make them a volatile yet influential voting bloc. In past elections, their turnout or lack thereof has shaped electoral outcomes, highlighting the importance of understanding and engaging with their concerns.

Brown's insights suggest that both the Trump and Biden campaigns must carefully navigate the landscape of disenchanted voters in swing states. While Trump's appeal to this demographic is evident, Biden's strategy of retaining the 2020 voter base may overlook the opportunity to address the grievances of these disenchanted voters effectively. Consequently, the approach taken by each campaign towards engaging with these voters could prove decisive in securing victory in key swing states.

Trump's Diverse Appeal and Policy Influence

From urban America to minority communities like Black and Hispanic voters, Trump's resonance transcends traditional party lines. His policies and rhetoric resonate with those disillusioned with establishment politics, drawing support from diverse demographics seeking change. Brown's observations indicate that Trump's populist approach has garnered significant traction, particularly among working-class voters and those disenchanted with conventional political discourse.

It appears that Trump's influence extends beyond traditional party boundaries, impacting voter preferences and ideological shifts within the Republican electorate. As the GOP evolves from its neoconservative roots towards a more populist stance, Trump's leadership and policies continue to shape the ideological landscape of the party. His ability to connect with voters on issues ranging from immigration to economic revitalization underscores his enduring influence on Republican politics and the broader political landscape.

Wrap Up

The emergence of the "ticked-off" voter demographic presents a significant challenge and opportunity for political campaigns in the 2024 election. These voters, disillusioned with traditional politics, have the potential to significantly impact electoral outcomes. With similarities to the 2016 election, where their turnout played a decisive role, there's anticipation that they may again turn out in force, potentially favoring Trump. 

The 2024 election's result is still up in the air but full of possibilities as campaigns adjust and strategize to appeal to this group of voters. The strategies employed by candidates to address the grievances of these voters and effectively communicate their vision for the future will undoubtedly shape the electoral landscape. In navigating the complexities of campaign communication and understanding the dynamics of voter sentiment, campaigns have the opportunity to forge meaningful connections and build momentum towards victory.

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John Connors

John Connors

John is a passionate patriot and business owner. He launched Campaign Now in 2008 to help free-market oriented, American organizations increase their reach and achieve important results. When he’s not strategizing growth plans with clients, you can find him sharpening his history chops, playing tennis in the Texas heat, or spending time with family.


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