This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 19, 2020:
The “shy voter,” according to Robert Cahaly, the founder of polling company Trafalgar Group, doesn’t “want to be judged by somebody on the phone whom they don’t know.” Therefore, many are tempted to give an answer that is more acceptable than accurate.
That’s how Cahaly has built his polling company. And that’s why he is able to boast that in 2016, “We got Pennsylvania right. We got Michigan right. We had the best poll in five of the battleground states in 2016. And I actually predicted 306 [Electoral College votes for Trump] to 232 [for Clinton].”
The final count was 304 to 227.
The New American reported on the “shy voter” in early September, when CloudResearch investigators first proved it. Rather than ask voters whom they would vote for, they asked instead, “Are you comfortable in truthfully disclosing the presidential candidate you intend to vote for in a telephone poll?”
Leib Litman, CloudResearch’s lead researcher, expected to find very few “shy voters.” Instead he found that nearly 12 percent of Republicans and 11 percent of Independents “would not report their true opinions about their preferred candidate on telephone polls.”
That’s why polling results from the Anglo-American think-tank Democracy Institute has Trump leading in battleground states as well as nationally. When Patrick Bashan, the group’s polling director, was asked how he tracked those “shy voters,” he said his people asked questions such as, “If you were a Trump voter, would you tell anybody? Would you tell your family? A friend? A coworker? Would you put a sign on your lawn or your car?”
The results leads Bashan to expect Trump to outperform the averages collated at RealClearPolitics by five to six percent. The results also lead him to predict that Trump will win the Electoral College vote, 320 to 218.
There are other factors at play, as The New American noted on Sunday, including the “likely-voter” paradigm used by most pollsters that misses many Trump supporters who don’t fit the profile.
Trafalgar Group’s approach is unique. It relies on large sample sizes and few questions. It utilizes live calls, auto calls, texts, e-mails, and other proprietary digital strategies. His company works hard to get an “even” sample so that the results don’t have to be “weighted” to get an accurate mix of respondents.
And he discounts national polls altogether, saying that “the presidency is won state by state, not on the basis of the national vote.” He also sees 2020 as a race that will be determined more by motivation than persuasion. That’s because most voters have already decided for whom they will vote on November 3. The key — one that President Trump made clear during his first debate with Biden — is getting those supporters to the polling booths to actually vote on November 3.
At the moment Cahaly sees another Trump win: “If it all happened right now, my best guess would be an Electoral College victory in the high 270s to low 280s.”