The Trafalgar Group MIGHT be undercounting Trump support

I was thinking about the Trafalgar Group’s tactic of finding shy Trump voters and of my old life in California, and something didn’t add up.

The Trafalgar Group was as successful as it was in 2016 in part because it figured out a way to overcome the “shy Trump” effect. Instead of asking people how they planned to vote, it asked them how they thought their neighbors would vote:

[T]he secret sauce used by Trafalgar to try to find “hidden” Trump voters is asking people whom they think their neighbors will vote for. The idea is that someone might be more candid about their own preference for Trump if you couch your question in terms of whether someone they know might support him. Is there any method to that madness? According to a new study, yes.

A new online study finds that Republicans and independents are twice as likely as Democrats to say they would not give their true opinion in a telephone poll question about their preference for president in the 2020 election. That raises the possibility that polls understate support for President Donald Trump.

Some 11.7% of Republicans and 10.5% independents said they would not give their true opinion, vs. 5.4% of Democrats, according to the study by CloudResearch LLC, a Queens, N.Y.-based company that conducts online market research and data collection for clients. Among the reasons they gave was that “it’s dangerous to express an opinion outside of the current liberal viewpoint,” according to Leib Litman, the co-chief executive officer and chief research officer…

Political party preference was the only characteristic that correlated consistently with reluctance to share presidential preference, Leib says.

That makes sense to me. If shy Trump voters live in a swing state, a swing neighborhood, or a neighborhood where politics aren’t a big deal, they may indeed project their beliefs onto their neighbors.

However, this methodology will not pick up Trump voters living in deep blue areas. When I was still living in California, if the Trafalgar Group had called and asked me how I thought my neighbors will vote, my answer would have been instantaneous: Biden. Every last one of them will vote for Biden. Every shy Trump voter in Manhattan, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and in all the left-leaning suburbs around those True Blue cities will say the same. Projecting their Trump beliefs onto their neighbors would be delusional.

So if the Trafalgar Group hasn’t figured out how to count shy Trump voters in blue enclaves, maybe it’s undercounting Trump support. Wouldn’t that be nice if it were so?

And on a completely unrelated point, if Biden is so worried about the China virus, why is he never seen wearing an N95 mask? The same goes for Pelosi and all the other Dems. None of them wear N95 masks, the only masks that are reasonably certain to block the virus. All the other masks are probably little more than window dressing, although they will protect others if you happen to have a cold or flu that leads you to explode with violent coughs or sneezes.

I’ll leave you with this thought that might scare you and certainly scares me: I’m getting optimistic. I think Trump will win. I also think that, if he wins, the same movement that keeps him in the White House will vote a straight Republican ticket, helping him keep the Senate and maybe capture the House. I’m not given to optimism — pessimism is my default setting — so I’ve either gone insane or the tea leaves are shrieking so loudly “Trump, Trump, Trump” that even I can’t miss the message.