Republicans often claim that dead voters are used to help Democrats win elections, but according to The Trafalgar Group, Donald Trump’s key to reelection on November 3 lies with so-called “hidden voters.”
If the phrase “hidden voters” sounds familiar, that’s because it was introduced by Kellyanne Conway during the 2016 campaign when Hillary Clinton was leading in the national polls.
In an August 2016 interview with Britain’s public television station Channel 4, Conway — a pollster herself before going to work for Trump — said to ignore Trump’s lagging poll numbers because she had created a secret weapon sure to bring victory . . . the “undercover voter.”
“Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the elections . . . it’s become socially desirable, especially if you’re a college-educated person in the US, to say you’re against Donald Trump.
“People who are supporting Donald Trump who have not voted Republican in the past, who have not voted for quite a while, are so tired of arguing with family and friends and colleagues about their support of Donald Trump that they just decided not to discuss it.”
It was noted at the time that Conway’s claim was loosely based on the political phenomenon is known as “the Bradley effect,” named after former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, who was favored in polls in California’s 1982 gubernatorial election over his white Republican opponent, George Deukmejian, before suffering a narrow shock loss on election day.
The Bradley effect has since been proven to be untrue.
In 2020, Republicans are recycling the 2016 party platform (because, you know, it worked so well the first time) so it just makes sense for Republican-biased Trafalgar Group to recycle the “hidden voter” excuse for Trump’s poor polling numbers against Joe Biden.
Ironically, the pro-Trump echo chamber at BlazeTV and FOX “Trump Pravda” News are accepting this probable outlier as proof of Trump’s likely reelection, despite being told by Trump sycophants in the faux-conservative media — *cough* Steve Deace *cough* Sean Hannity *cough* — that any polls showing Biden beating Trump aren’t to be trusted.
This past Tuesday, Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert Cahaly appeared on Deace’s and Hannity’s shows to explain his “hidden voters” rationale and his projection of a Trump victory with an electoral college total in the “high 270s” or more. In his appearance with Hannity, Cahaly said:
“I see the president winning with a minimum high 270s [in the Electoral College] and possibly going up significantly higher based on just how big this undercurrent is.
“What we’ve noticed is that these polls are predominantly missing the hidden Trump vote. There is a clear feeling among conservatives and people that are for the president that they’re not interested in sharing their opinions readily.
“These people are more hesitant to participate in polls. So if you’re not compensating for this, you’re not going to get honest answers.”
Joined @FoxNews @seanhannity tonight to give a glimpse into why our @trafalgar_group polls are showing a tightening race. You can watch the full segment here: https://t.co/sKJEGJZ2g0 pic.twitter.com/gMxFKQ9tE3
— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) October 21, 2020
I don’t want you to miss this. According to Trafalgar, there’s a secret army of voters who are so convinced that the New York liberal with an “R” after his name is the right person . . . at the right time . . . for the right job . . . that they will lie or stay silent in order to make sure he wins.
Trafalgar Group’s claim to fame comes courtesy of the 2016 election when they predicted Trump victories in key swing states that were crucial to his Electoral College victory, including Michigan. Cahaly argued at the time that he was able to make such a prediction by accounting for so-called “shy” Trump voters — voters who, due to an alleged “social desirability bias,” were reluctant to tell pollsters that they supported Trump.
This explains the sudden infatuation with Trafalgar by Trump sycophants in the faux-conservative media, but it begs the question: Was Trafalgar right about “hidden voters” or did they just get lucky? The 2018 midterm elections would seem to indicate that it was pure luck.
Trafalgar made a dozen polls public in the last two weeks before the midterm elections; nine of them were extremely favorable to the Republicans. For example, they predicted Brian Kemp would win the Georgia governor’s race by 12 points but he only won by 1 point.
Trafalgar missed their projections in 2018 by an average of 5 points and they missed three races entirely, including the Senate races in Arizona and Nevada. They also missed the governor’s race in Nevada.
Of course, it’s possible that Trafalgar will be right about Trump’s reelection and everyone else be wrong. But even if they succeed where others failed in 2016, they were wrong in 2018 when the bulk of polling forecast a Blue Tsunami — and that’s exactly what happened.
Will 2020 be the same as 2016? Maybe, maybe not. It should be noted, however, a significant majority of polls see Biden as the clear favorite in the race, given his lead in national polls and most polls of key swing states.
No wonder Trafalgar Group, who brags about being called “the most accurate pollster of the cycle among those firms that polled multiple Senate and governor races” by Real Clear Politics, only garners a C- by FiveThirtyEight.com.
By the way, I know the only poll that counts is the one on November 3, so save me your emails and nasty messages. My intention in today’s article is to point out the depths Trump’s army of sycophantic followers are willing to go in their effort to, as Steve Deace has repeatedly proclaimed, “save this president.” In less than two weeks, we’ll know if they succeeded or not.
Meanwhile, Trafalgar Group will continue seeking out this secret army of hidden voters — although I don’t know how they’ll find them since they are . . . you know . . . hidden.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.