Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Could Hilary actually be Trumped?

Everyone has said for some time that Donald Trump is a joke.  In poll after poll, he under performs other Republicans against Hilary Clinton.  Hilary beats Trump by more than 6 points on average and by as much as 11 points in a Fox News poll.  She is statistically tied with the other Republicans.  Looks like Trump would be a dream opponent. See the averages here: 

Additionally, half of Americans, including 20% of Republicans and 47% of Independents say they would actually be embarrassed to have Donald Trump as President.  We aren’t talking about just being unhappy.  No, 50% of Americans say they would be “embarrassed” to have Trump in the White House.  http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2311

So, we shouldn’t worry.  Trump is a loser.  If he is the Republican nominee, Clinton wins and maybe wins big.  Right?

Not so fast.  A new study may just tell a different story.  Trump may have a lot more support, at least among Republicans and perhaps among Americans in general, than the polls show.
Morning Consult published a study involving 2,500 Republican respondents on December 21.  The study compared the difference between support for Trump for registered Republicans interviewed online, by live telephone, and by interactive voice response.  The study found that “Trump performs about six percentage points better online than via live telephone interviewing and that his advantage online is driven by adults with higher levels of education.  Importantly, the differences between online and live telephone persist even when examining only highly engaged voters.”  See: http://morningconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Morning-Consult-Donald-Trump-online-versus-live-polling-methods-study1.pdf

Bottom Line: Republicans are more likely to support Donald Trump if they can express their support in private—like in a voting booth.  If that holds true for Democrats and Independents, then there may be a lot of “closet” Trump supporters out there.  Think this couldn’t be true.  Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post reminds us…

[P]eople are more inclined not to tell the truth to a pollster if they believe it will make them look bad. This has become known as the Bradley Effect. Tom Bradley was the African American mayor of Los Angeles who ran for governor of California in 1982. He was leading in the polls right up to Election Day, but lost narrowly once actual ballots were counted. Then, folks didn’t want to be viewed as racist. Now, folks appear to not want to be viewed as supporting a racist. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/12/21/democrats-should-fear-the-depths-of-donald-trumps-support/

Watch out.  Trump just might be no joke.

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