Yes, the Polls Are Understating President Trump’s True Support
For most presidential elections the polls have been accurate, but had that always been the case, we’d be talking about “President Hillary Clinton” right now. Thank God that’s not the case.
On election day 2016, an average of polling estimates had Hillary Clinton six points ahead, and the Huffington Post infamously gave Hillary a 98.1% chance of winning the presidency, scoring 323 electoral votes in the process. Despite common accusations of Republican bias, Rasmussen Reports had the most accurate polling numbers, with Hillary Clinton up 1.7 points over Trump on election day 2016 (for context, Hillary ended up leading the popular vote by 2.1%).
So over all, the typical poll in 2016 under-stated Trump support by about four-percentage points. A new study is out that indicates many Trump supporters are staying quiet about their support, and it implies an even greater margin of errors on polls than they had in 2016.
According to Fox News:
Republican and independent voters are twice as likely to not reveal their true preference for president in a telephone poll, a study found.
CloudResearch, an online market research and data collection company, found that 11.7% of Republicans and 10.5% of independents said they wouldn’t share their true opinion, while only 5.4% of Democrats said the same. According to CloudResearch, some survey responders said they thought it would be “dangerous” to express an opinion outside the “current liberal viewpoint.”
“That raises the possibility that polls understate support for President Donald Trump,” Bloomberg reported.
In other words, there’s a 6.3 percentage point gap in the willingness for Republicans and Democrats to share their opinions, to the detriment of Trump’s support in the polls.
Participants were asked for their political preference for president, how they felt about sharing that preference in a phone poll, and later whom they actually supported for the office. CloudResearch explained that political party affiliation was the sole characteristic that correlated consistently with reluctance to divulge true presidential preference. There were reportedly no correlations with age, race, education or income.
Fox also notes that there’s evidence some support for Trump went undetected prior to the 2016 election too:
An exhaustive post-mortem published by the American Association for Public Opinion Research found that some Americans who voted for the president did not show their support for him until after the election and that they outnumbered late-revealing Clinton voters.
The association also explained that while those who admit changing their minds normally break evenly between the Republican and Democratic candidates, people who did so in 2016 voted for Trump by a 16 percentage point margin.
Another thing to keep in mind is sampling bias present in some major polls. A recent YouGov/CBS poll simultaneously showed President Trump leading Biden by 10-points among Independents, but has Biden polling 10 points ahead of Trump overall. How is that possible? Because while Republicans and Democrats both made up roughly a third of the population, YouGov’s sample is only 30% Republican, but 42% Democrat.
Despite the “principled” anti-Trump Republicans the liberal media will trot out, their position is a minority. Not only has Trump retained his base, a smaller percentage of Republicans are expected to defect for Biden than they did for Hillary.
An interesting dynamic in latest CBS poll:
Only 5% of Republicans say they’re voting for Joe Biden.
Right now that’s lower than the 8% of Republicans who voted for Obama in 2008, 6% of Republicans who voted for Obama in 2012, and 7% of Republicans who voted for Hillary Clinton. pic.twitter.com/gIblOm1kJB
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) August 25, 2020