Pollster Who Predicted 2016 Win Predicts Another Trump Victory
Just as they did in 2016, most political professionals are predicting that Biden will win the election. In a conventional race, given the poll numbers, that would be understandable. Of course, Trump defied the odds and won in 2016 against Hillary. Could the same thing happen this year? The lead pollster for Trafalgar, who got it right in 2016, thinks it will.
Robert Cahaly, Trafalgar’s lead pollster believes there are a large number of “shy” Trump voters out there that aren’t being honest with pollsters about who they’re voting for. Trafalgar has a system to account for those voters and believes it puts Trump in front in a number of swing states that other polls show him to be losing. Here’s Hot Air with a breakdown of the latest state polls from Trafalgar:
Via RCP, here are the latest Trafalgar numbers from battlegrounds (although bear in mind that some of these are close to a month old):
Florida: Trump by two
Pennsylvania: Biden by two
Wisconsin: Biden by three
North Carolina: Trump by two
Michigan: Trump by one
Ohio: Trump by four
Arizona: Trump by four
If all of those results held on Election Day, assuming no unlikely Biden victories elsewhere, Trump would win 276-262. That’s right in line with Cahaly’s forecast for the election, which he delivers to Pesca at 26:00 of the clip below — Trump in the mid-270 range.
Are these numbers right? Of course, there’s no way to know for sure until the election. Trafalgar could be seeing something that other pollsters are missing. After all, Trafalgar did correctly call Michigan and Pennsylvania in 2016 when almost everyone else got it wrong. It’s also worth noting that this is an extremely difficult year for pollsters for a number of reasons.
For one thing, we’ve had widespread mail-in-voting for the first time in Americans and Democrats have built up an advantage there (Although less of one than people seem to think). More than 17 million voters have already voted with less than 3 weeks to go until the election. Those numbers are going to skew Democrat, which is good for them. However, percentage-wise, a lot more mail votes tend to be invalidated than votes that are made in person. Will the Democrats lose hundreds of thousands of votes that way? Absolutely.
On the other hand, Republicans are much more enthusiastic about Trump than Democrats are about Biden. Moreover, according to Gallup, 80% of Democratic women and 77% of Democratic men are worried about getting the Coronavirus, while only 20% of Republican men and 29% of Republican women are worried. You have to think that would have a significant impact on who turns up at the polls. Could Republicans be much more likely to turn out because they’re less frightened to vote? Absolutely and it doesn’t seem like pollsters are taking that into account. We also have to consider that the Trump campaign has worked overtime to reach out to voters in person, while the Biden spent a long time just doing virtual contacts, which don’t work nearly as well. Moreover, Trump’s numbers in key battleground states are slightly better than they were 4 years ago.
Of course, the Democratic response would probably be that Biden’s general election lead appears to be significantly bigger than Clinton’s lead right now. Right now, Biden is 8.9 points ahead of Trump on the RealClearPolitics polling average. Under normal circumstances, a candidate doesn’t overcome a gap that large.
So, what is going to happen? I’m not in the business of making election predictions anymore and that goes double in an election where mail-in voting could potentially give the Democrats the ability to steal a state or two. However, Robert Cahaly from Trafalgar is certainly an expert and he could be right.
You can listen to the interview with Robert Cahaly starting at 10:33.