Most voters show Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris travels to Texas on Friday after polls show ties between Trump, Biden Florida heat sends a dozen Trump attendees to Harris Hospital more often targets of online misinformation than Pence: reports MORE with a robust and stable guide over President Trump at a time when tens of thousands of millions of people have already voted and there is almost no time to change the race.
But a handful of conflicting pollsters believe Trump’s support is underrepresented and that election analysts may be heading for another embarrassing miss on election day.
Fighting has erupted on social media, with some well-known political analysts rejecting polls showing Trump leading Biden.
Trafalgar Group, which was the only non-partisan outlet in 2016 to find Trump leading in Michigan and Pennsylvania on election day, shows Trump with small leaders in both states, which would be the key to yet another Trump victory in Electoral College. Almost every other poll shows Biden with a comfortable lead.
Trafalgar’s Robert Cahaly says there is a hidden Trump vote that is not taken into account in polls showing Biden on a slippery slope to the White House.
“There are more [shy Trump voters] than last time, and it’s not even a competition, ”Cahaly said, adding that it is“ very possible ”that the electoral industry is heading for a catastrophic miss in 2020.
FiveThirtyEight’s editor for Nate Silver and Cook Political Report Dave Wasserman are among those deeply skeptical of Cahaly’s vote.
Both have dug into the crosstabs of Trafalgar polls, pointing to questionable breakdowns as evidence Trafalgar does not know what it is doing. For example, in a Michigan poll that is no longer online, the cross-tabulations of Trump leading Biden with 8 points among young voters seemed a stronghold.
“[Trafalgar] does not reveal their ‘proprietary digital methods’, so I can not really evaluate what they are doing, “said Jon McHenry, a Republican pollster with North Star Opinion Research.” They are far enough out on a limb that we in a year from now everyone will remember whether they were very right or very wrong. “
The FiveThirtyEights model gives Trump about an 11 percent chance of winning – much like pulling an inside right in poker – after giving him a 30 percent chance on election day 2016.
Those who believe that the majority of votes show Biden with a more comfortable lead than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris travels to Texas Friday after polls show draw between Trump, Biden Harris more often targets for online misinformation than Pence: report The Hill’s Campaign Report: What the latest poll says about the presidential race | The Supreme Court discontinues GOP attempts to block extension of NC mail reconciliation MORE had at this point in 2016 noticed a few factors. They say Trump is underperforming – in some cases dramatically – among the key coalitions that drove his victory in 2016. Biden is also a more popular candidate than Clinton.
McHenry said he does not believe there are many “shy” Trump supporters who lie about their intentions.
On the contrary, there is concern about a “skewed response rate pattern,” whereby Trump voters would be less likely to participate in a poll or answer the phone when a pollster calls.
Still, McHenry noted that this would not be an automatic benefit for Trump. In Pennsylvania, for example, he found that Democrats were less likely to answer the phone than their registration would suggest.
“I can not definitively say that there is no disruption, but I am skeptical about it and it would certainly not be enough to explain the national deficits we are seeing,” he said.
That said, Trafalgar is not the only conflicting voice in the vote. Several other pollsters have joined it, claiming that other polls lack pro-Trump voters.
Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research has been another spokesman for the “immersed” Trump voter theory.
A recent study by Susquehanna in Wisconsin found that Trump and Biden were tied, making it the only poll that did not show Biden in the lead in Badger State since August, when the Trafalgar Group found Trump ahead by 1 point. In Florida, Susquehanna shows Trump leads by 4 points, while the FiveThirtyEight average gives Biden a 2-point advantage.
“There are a lot of voters out there who do not want to admit that they are voting for a guy who has been called a racist, the submerged Trump factor is very real,” Lee said this week on WFMZ’s Business Matters. “We have been able to capture it and I am really disappointed others have not.”
The University of Southern California Dornsife Center publishes results from the regular national poll, but also asks parallel “experimental” questions that ask people who they think their social contacts vote for and who they think will win their home state.
In 2016, USC-Dornsife made headlines for being one of the few polls that showed Trump leading nationally. Hillary Clinton ended up winning the national vote, and the USC later adjusted its method, saying it oversampled rural voters in the last election.
This time, the USC-Dornsife vote shows that Biden leads by 11 points nationally.
However, the race is tightened to 5 points when voters are asked about their social circles and to 1 point when voters are asked who they expect others in their state to vote for. The survey suggests that Trump would win Electoral College again in 2020.
USC-Dornsife notes that the issue of the social circle was a better indicator than the issue of “own intent” in five recent elections, including the 2016 presidential election in 2016 and the battle for the house in 2018.
Still, the Santa Fe Institute’s Mirta Galesic, one of the researchers who studied the added voting questions for the USC, noted that state-level polls suggesting Trump is winning the Electoral College should be viewed with skepticism.
The USC-Dornsife poll of 5,000 national participants has very small samples in some of the battlefield states and could be less accurate than public state surveys.
“We expect that with such small samples, the question of the social circle will produce more accurate predictions at the state level than the question of self-intention, because the question of the social circle can provide more information and smooth out some of the small state tensions,” Galesic said. . “But that does not mean that predictions based on the question of the social circle will be more accurate than large state surveys.”
In addition, Galesic says the social terrain is extremely unstable due to the coronavirus pandemic, making it more difficult to gather reliable data on voter social circles, which has dropped dramatically in recent months.
And Galesic said the 2016 ghost still colors what many voters think they know about how their friends and family will vote in 2020, even though the dynamics have changed dramatically by then.
“This encourages a lot of pessimism among Democrats about Biden’s chances and optimism among Republicans about Trump’s chances,” Galesic said. “It also contributes to the belief that there are some Trump voters who are not accounted for in the polls. Taken together, these beliefs could influence expectations of the social circle toward a narrower margin between the two candidates. ”