Thanks to the hidden support from voters who are embarrassed to admit they will vote for Donald Trump, the president will be narrowly re-elected on Nov. 3, says one of the few pollsters who correctly predicted his 2016 victory.
Pollster Robert Cahaly, the head of the Georgia-based Trafalgar Group, saw interest in his company skyrocket in 2016 after he bucked the consensus of other pollsters and forecast that Trump would beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states that were crucial to his victory. He credits a proprietary model of calculating a polling sample that takes into account the social pressure that leads many people to hide their support of a controversial, polarizing candidate like Trump, even from anonymous pollsters.
It’s that same demographic that Trump often refers to as the “silent majority,” whom the president says will help him “win this election big.” Unlike the rally goers in MAGA hats who have memorized the lyrics and sing along to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” these “shy Trump voters,” Cahaly told Yahoo News in an interview Friday, will show that the methods of most polling outfits are outdated and unreliable.
Unlike those bigger, more traditional pollsters, Trafalgar eschews long, in-person interviews with voters, providing them with other options to record their voting preferences — including online and by text — that critics say are less scientific but that Cahaly said in the following interview (which has been lightly edited for clarity) more accurately reflect human psychology.
The social desirability bias is a theory that’s been around for a long time. It is that, especially when dealing with a live caller, the person being asked the questions will craft their answer in a way that puts them in the best light to the person asking the question.—AFP