Biden continues to lead with no slippage nationally, and is apparently perceived by 13% as more intelligent than Trump (sic).
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 23, 2020
There is no hidden tranche of “shy” Trump voters.
— Geoffrey Skelley (@geoffreyvs) September 23, 2020
There’s this theory that won’t die. It goes something like this: Some unknown segment of President Trump’s support is too “shy” to admit they back him. Usually offered as an explanation for why Trump’s poll numbers weren’t better in 2016 or why they’re not better now, the idea hinges on Trump being such a controversial candidate that it’s not socially desirable to say you support him, and as such, there is a lot of hidden Trump support not captured by the polls.
If “shy” Trump voters were a thing, for example, you might expect a difference in how respondents reply to surveys conducted via telephone versus those anonymously submitted online — the idea being that social desirability bias is less likely to kick in when a respondent is dealing with a faceless computer instead of a real person. However, as Morning Consult’s new 2,400-respondent study shows, Trump performed about the same against Joe Biden, regardless of whether the pollster interviewed respondents by phone or online.
All in all, the good news for pollsters is that few, if any, voters are misleading them about their support for Trump. Yes, Morning Consult found small differences in support for Trump via household income and education, with wealthier and college-educated voters less likely to say they support Trump in a live-phone poll, but the shifts weren’t statistically meaningful. So while there might be a handful of reluctant Trump voters, it’s not on the level of the systemic polling challenges we’ve discussed that could still undersell how much support the president has. We should, as always, be prepared for some degree of polling error, but it’s probably not going to happen because of shy Trump voters.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 23, 2020
— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) September 23, 2020
— Katie MacBride (@msmacb) September 23, 2020
— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) September 23, 2020
— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) September 23, 2020
— Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) September 23, 2020
— Respectable Lawyer (@RespectableLaw) September 23, 2020
— Ej Dickson (@ejdickson) September 23, 2020
— Chad K. Mills (@ChadKMills) September 23, 2020
“You’re not mopping fast enough. (Laughter) That’s a socialist mop. (Laughter and applause) Grab a mop — let’s get to work.” – Barack Obama (2009); “Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible!”