- Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly says Trump is likely to be re-elected with the help of his ‘hidden support’
- Cahaly says the latest Trafalgar polls show Trump in a slight lead in key states including Michigan, Florida, Arizona, and Ohio
- He says that the polls don’t account for ‘shy Trump voters’ who don’t participate in surveys and are quiet in their support of Trump for fear of backlash
- In 2016 the group was one of few that showed Trump leading in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan on the eve of voting day, which Trump later won
In 2016, a pollster went against what everyone else showed that Trump was winning that election. He is back, showing how the polling companies are refusing to show Trump’s hidden support, a group that gave him a 4% boost the last election, could be as high as 10% this one.
Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly says Trump is likely to be re-elected based on polls from this month that show him in a slight lead in key states.
Cahaly says those polls don’t include Trump’s ‘hidden’ fans who do not want to identify themselves by participating in polls for fear of retribution for supporting Trump.
‘I see the president winning with a minimum [electoral vote count in the] high 270s and possibly going up significantly higher based on just how big this undercurrent is,’ Cahaly said on Hannity on Fox News Tuesday night.
In 2016 the Georgia-based polling group was one of the few that showed Trump leading in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan on the eve of the voting day. This was despite other polls showing Trump losing by close to double-digit numbers. Trump went on to win those states.
He is showing with his latest polls that Trump is leading in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia, where most polls show either a stalemate or Biden with a slight lead.
‘What we’ve noticed is that these polls are predominantly missing the hidden Trump vote, what we refer to as the shy Trump voter,’ he said.
‘There is a clear feeling among conservatives and people that are for the president that they’re not interested in sharing their opinions readily on the telephone. These people are more hesitant to participate in polls. So if you’re not compensating for this … you’re not going to get honest answers,’ he added.
Two weeks out to the election some 35 million Americans have already voted.
Trafalgar’s latest polls, from a survey of 1,51 likely voters from October 14 to 16, show Biden leading in Wisconsin with just one point at 47.5% compared to Trump’s 46.3%, and this doesn’t include his secret voters.
According to October surveys, Trafalgar’s polls show Trump ahead of Biden by one percentage point in Michigan, two points in Florida, four points in Arizona, and four points in Ohio.
The group also has Trump ahead in Georgia with 48.8 percent support according to a July 14 to 17 survey of 1,023 likely voters.
The polls also show Biden leading by one point in Pennsylvania and Trump and Biden dead even at 46 percent in Minnesota, according to an August poll.
Cahaly said the Hunter Biden controversy involving his foreign business dealings could put a spin on most pundits’ predictions.
‘If the president uses this effectively at the debate [Thursday] when a more bipartisan audience is paying attention and puts [Biden] on the spot, I think Biden might crack, kind of like he did in the primaries,’ Cahaly said.
‘And if that happens, well, then the mainstream media is going to have to cover it,’ he said.
Trafalgar says that it performs better at finding ‘shy’ Trump voters than other pollsters through a combination of techniques.
Rather than everyone in the poll being asked the same question the same way, the sample is split between live telephone polls and ‘push button’ polls, where the people being surveyed select their answer on their handset in response to a recorded voice.
Cahaly told National Review that the company uses texts and emails too to gain responses to ‘really push the anonymous part – this is your anonymous say-so.’
The polls are shorter than average at around nine questions rather than 25 to try to reach people who would normally be ‘too busy’ to take take part.
Cahaly also told Politico that he asks how respondents expect their neighbors to vote rather than how they will vote themselves on the basis that they are more likely to express their own views when asked obliquely.
The answers are fed through what Cahaly says is a proprietary algorithm which further adjusts the results.
The technique was first used by Trafalgar in the 2016 primary season, and Cahaly says that allowed his firm to search for new or long-dormant voters who were backing Trump but who other firms did not seek out, and who helped boost Trump’s vote.
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