This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 24, 2020:
According to an ABC/Washington Post poll taken among likely Florida voters last week, President Trump has jumped to a four-point lead over his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the Sunshine State. According to the survey:
The result in Florida befits its swing-state status, with sharp differences across regions and demographic groups.
A challenge for Biden is his tepid 13-point lead among Hispanics in the state (using registered voters for an adequate sample size); Hillary Clinton won Florida Hispanics by 27 percentage points in 2016, yet narrowly lost the state.
On July 23, Quinnipiac University showed Biden with a commanding 13-point lead over the president, the last time Biden had a double-digit lead in Florida. An average of the last seven polls taken since September 10 show Biden with a lead of just 1.3 points, well within the polls’ margins of error.
This is increasingly important in the race for the White House, as Florida has 29 Electoral College votes, tied for third most in the country. It’s also important because, except for 1992, the state has voted for the winner in every presidential election since 1964.
Florida is also important as its demographics — thanks to influxes of Cubans, retirees, and theme-park workers — have made the state much more diversified and a microcosm of the country as a whole.
The state’s role as a demographic model for the nation is showing up in national polls such as the weekly White House Watch poll reported every Wednesday by Rasmussen. At the moment, Biden leads the president by just one point, 48-47, among likely voters, with three percent preferring some other candidate and just two percent still undecided.
Efforts to “suppress” Republican voters by most of the major pollsters surfaced back in July when the president, exasperated over national polls showing him behind Biden by double digits, hired pollster John McLaughlin to look into the matter. McLaughlin reported that the major pollsters “continue to poll adults or registered voters that skew away from likely voters. So, instead of the 33 percent Republican turnout (which actually happened in 2016), they are reporting polls on only 26%, 25% or even 24% Republicans.”
As the skewing became known, voters shied away from responding truthfully to pollsters calling them for their political positions. Lieb Litman, a researcher with CloudResearch, decided to change the question being asked: “Are you comfortable in truthfully disclosing the presidential candidate you intend to vote for in a telephone poll?”
Liebman said, “We expected to find very few ‘shy voters.’” Instead they found that nearly 12 percent of Republicans and nearly 11 percent of Independents said they would not report their true opinions. This, said Liebman, “could have implications in terms of the true accuracy of phone polls.… [Their less than truthful responses] generates biased poll outcomes.”
That’s what makes the recent polling results from Florida so encouraging to the Trump camp: Pollsters can no longer skew their results. Even with “shy voters” in the mix, the momentum behind the Trump campaign can no longer be hidden or denied.
On a side note: The same thing is happening in Arizona. According to the ABC/Washington Post poll, likely voters there are also giving Trump the edge over Biden, 49 percent to 48 percent.