According to a former member of the Trump administration, the polls likely cannot be trusted.
Fox News reports that Kellyanne Conway, the former White House counselor, believes that there is a significant number of “undercover Trump voter[s]” out there who will vote for Trump but who will not reveal beforehand that they will do so.
“As the person who coined the term ‘hidden undercover Trump voter in 2016,’ there are even more of them and they’re even more committed now,” Conway said during an interview this past week with Showtime’s “The Circus.”
She continued: “And they’re going to surprise you as to who they are this time because you’ve seen the poll, 62% of Republicans or Trump supporters are afraid to even express themselves, they express themselves at the ballot box.”
As Fox reports, here Conway appears to be referring to the recent Cato Institute poll.
Pollsters of this libertarian think tank conducted a survey in which they asked whether participants agreed or disagreed with the statement, “the political climate these days prevents me from saying things I believe because others might find them offensive.”
52 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans stated that they agreed. In total, 62 percent of all voters agreed, which seems to be the figure to which Conway was referring.
A similar poll was recently conducted by the online market research and data collection company CloudResearch. The company found that 11.7 percent of Republicans and 10.5 percent of independents stated that they would not share their true preference for president. In contrast, only 5.4 percent of Democrat respondents gave the same response, meaning that Republicans and Independents, according to this poll, are twice as likely to hide their preferred candidate for president than are Democrat voters.
These two polls are further supported by a separate poll conducted by Monmouth University in July. It found that 57 percent of participants believed that there were “secret” Trump voters in their communities.
Worse than 2016?
What all of these polls suggest is that official presidential polls are likely underestimating support for Trump, just like in 2016.
At that time, the polls had Hillary Clinton easily defeating Trump, just as they have Joe Biden doing so this time around. Clinton, obviously, lost, and studies at the time attributed the defeat partially to Americans who voted for Trump but who chose not to express their support for him until after he was elected.
We could be about to experience some deja vu, except it might be worse for the Democrats this time as Trump isn’t doing as bad against Biden as he was doing against Clinton.