GOP pollster says voters typically don't vote for candidates on electability

Republican pollster Conor Maguire told Hill.TV on Monday that electability does not ultimately matter to voters. 

"One of the things I've always seen is this idea of how electable someone is. We saw this in the 2016 [with] President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE," Maguire told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"People don't vote on electability. They vote on who they want to vote for," he continued. 

The term "electable" has been frequently used in the narrative surrounding campaigns, most recently in the 2020 Democratic primary field. 

A Monmouth University survey released earlier this month found that a large number of Democratic voters prioritized electability over values when thinking about potential 2020 challengers for President Trump. 

“In prior elections, voters from both parties consistently prioritized shared values over electability when selecting a nominee,” the director of Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, said in a statement. “It looks like Democrats may be willing to flip that equation in 2020 because of their desire to defeat Trump. This is something to pay close attention to when primary voters really start tuning in to the campaign.” 

Electability was a major topic of discussion during the 2016 Republican primary, with many observers incorrectly predicting that then-candidate Trump was not an electable candidate. 

— Julia Manchester