With just 2 weeks to go, Hillary Clinton is holding on to her 5-star position and Donald Trump continues to trail (see above).

Fame, Feeling and Fluency do not change quickly, but as we saw in the weeks following the previous TV debates, the third and final showdown has resulted in yet another marginal improvement in the Presidential processing Fluency of both candidates.


Slight increases aside, if you look at the long-term picture, Trump’s Fluency has collapsed over the course of the campaign. In the early weeks of the Primaries, Trump was well ahead on Fluency; making the news, creating and constantly reinforcing simple slogans (distinctive assets) such as ‘building a wall’. Any strong brand knows that you have to maintain and refresh your distinctive assets, and Trump has failed to do this over the last few weeks, missing the opportunity the TV debates afforded him. 

While both candidates’ Fluency improved with the last TV debate, their Feeling again took a knock. As with earlier debates, their blows are landing.


The emotional narrative is now set – Trump is seen as a ‘bigot’ and Clinton is perceived as a ‘liar’.


It’s the third consecutive week that negative feelings for Trump have increased with almost half of respondents now signalling disgust, contempt, anger or fear for him.


We would expect both candidates’ Feeling to recover over the next week. With no more TV debates before Election Day, this is a chance for Clinton to press home her Feeling and maintain the ‘Presidential’ Fluency advantage the debates have given her. Trump should revisit and refresh his distinctive assets to increase his Fluency and wrest back control of the media narrative.

Read more on The Rise and Fall of Donald Trump.

Fieldwork dates: 21st October-23rd October. Next update: Tuesday 1 November.

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