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Will Trafalgar Prevail Again?

Robert Dimuro

Posted on October 31, 2020 21:02

5 users

...or have the traditional polling companies learned their lesson from 2016?

The 2020 Presidential election is looking like a repeat of 2016. Once again, Trump is running against an establishment candidate who thwarted the momentum behind Bernie Sanders and is also at the center of corruption allegations that involve emails. In addition, Trump is trailing in almost all the national polls by a margin that again suggests that he has little chance of winning.

At the same time, it’s hard to imagine that a candidate who forgot the name of his opponent, calling Trump “George,” could possibly be elected President, and maybe this will be more reflective of Tuesday’s outcome than one might think.

The conglomerate of polling companies that had Clinton up by a healthy margin in the general election was off by a sizable margin – enough that Trump was able to flip six states that were supposed to remain blue. Two factors likely explain this inaccuracy. The first is the difficulty of generating perfectly random samples when most people don’t answer the phone, which is why polling companies have unique sampling methods that generate varying results.

The second is the phenomenon of “shy Trump voters” – voters that are reluctant to tell pollsters that they support Trump. There isn’t hard proof of their existence; however, one polling company has been able to generate very accurate results in crucial swing states by asking questions specifically designed to neutralize their potential effect. That company is the Trafalgar Group.

Trafalgar asked one question in particular that generated significantly different results than the usual Who will you vote for? Their money question was Who does your neighbor support? The underlying theory here was that, when people feel that they’re in the minority and are made to feel ashamed for having a particular opinion, they’re also much less likely to express that opinion – especially when their opinion is requested over the phone by a complete stranger.

The question in 2020 is Will Trafalgar accurately predict the election results a second time? It’s hard to know for sure, but it doesn’t seem like the traditional polling companies have learned their lesson from 2016, giving Biden improbable leads over Trump in every swing state. For example, Michigan and Wisconsin are states that Trump edged out by a margin of less than 1% in 2016. In 2020, the polling average has Biden leading by over 8% in each of these states. Simple common sense should be enough for one to seriously doubt that Trump will lose that much ground in the Rust Belt.

However, despite common sense and the existence of polls that got it right in 2016, polling guru Nate Silver is doubling down on his confidence that Trump won’t be reelected. He gave Trump a 28.6% chance of winning in 2016 and now gives him only a 10% chance of winning. Despite what Silver and the so-called “experts” say, I’ll throw in my lot with the innovative polling company that made fools out of its competitors in 2016.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on October 31, 2020 21:02

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Source: FOX News
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More than 440,000 Ohioans have cast their early ballots in-person, up from 165,515 at this point in 2016.

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