The Dems’ fanatic anti-MAGA sentiment is rendering polling pretty useless
In the early 1990s, British polling companies that had failed to predict a conservative political win, coined the term “shy Tory factor,” to account for conservatives being unwilling to admit their voting preference to pollsters. Since then, the problem is a common one across the West because conservatives feel beleaguered and disfavored. Thanks to the Democrats’ fanatic anti-MAGA sentiment, which saw Joe Biden demonize Republicans as the enemies of “democracy” (which to Joe means “the Democrat party”), conservatives are shyer than ever before.
Robert Cahaly is the chief pollster for Trafalgar Group, which has been, not just an accurate pollster, but an actual pollster: That is, it really seeks to discern public trends, as opposed to those companies that do push polling to move public trends. He put out a series of tweets regarding the fact that, when it comes to polls, MAGA conservatives have gone almost completely underground (h/t Twitchy):
In 2016 Trump supporters were called “Deplorables” and other unflattering names. This was a major contributor to the “shy Trump voter” phenomenon that “most” polling missed which resulted in a major loss in public confidence for polling flowing the election.— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 17, 2022
In 2020 people who supported Trump or espoused conservative values out of step with “Woke” culture found themselves being “canceled” or “doxed”. This led to “hidden voters” that “most” polling under counted, therefore Trump support in key battleground states exceeded expectations— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 17, 2022
Now that the Biden administration has essentially classified “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to democracy marshaling federal law enforcement to focus on them. This move has created a new type of voter that will be even harder to poll or even estimate.— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 17, 2022
I call this new group “submerged voters”. They aren’t putting stickers on their cars, signs in their yards, posting their opinions, or even answering polls. At this point I think it’s fair to say that Biden’s pursuit of and attacks on “MAGA Republicans” has created an army of— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 17, 2022
voters who will be virtually impossible to poll (even for us) and more difficult still to estimate.— Robert C. Cahaly (@RobertCahaly) September 17, 2022
The 2022 Republican turnout will likely be higher than any of the polls or models are showing. All polls (including ours) will understate the impact of these “submerged voters”.
I’m of two minds about Cahaly’s analysis, which I’m perfectly sure is correct. On the one hand, I find it utterly tragic that, in America, people are so afraid for their jobs, their relationship with their community, and even their safety, that they no longer dare admit to their political viewpoints. But conservatives are right to be afraid. The Biden administration has worked very hard since January 21 to put the fear into conservatives: They will be hunted down if they are too close to Trump, question the results of an election that was conducted under circumstances never before seen in America, or simply say the wrong thing.
On the other hand, though, this is good news. Deep State Republicans seem to be working hard to throw the election to the Democrats. Additionally, too many Republicans aren’t focusing on the issues most important to Americans: Safety from rampant crime and the racist theories and transgender madness the left is imposing on their children at school. The economy is important as well. So, Republicans talk about Ukraine and other issues that matter only in D.C.
When you take this weak campaigning with polls showing, not a red wave but, rather, a little splash...well, it gets disheartening, and that can risk depressing election turnout. What Cahaly is saying, though, is that there’s a real possibility that Americans on the conservative side of things are plenty ready to vote and they know that they want to throw the Democrat bums out. They’re just not willing to talk about it to a stranger on the telephone. Indeed, if they’re disaffected Democrats, they’ll be even less willing to say anything.
What all this means is that I’m taking hope from Cahaly’s analysis, even as I am disappointed that America has come to this point. Remember: We’re on the side of normalcy and common sense: Despite the left’s loudness, it’s reasonable to believe that most Americans want a secure border, low crime, affordable energy, a society that’s not racially obsessed, biological reality, and all the other things that used to be the norm just twenty or thirty years ago. And no matter how they may dislike the Republicans’ campaign style, they’ve got to see that everything is falling apart when Democrats are in control.