Could pollsters be dramatically underestimating the right-of-center vote? The Daily Wire’s John Rigolizzo has some thoughts. Excerpts, with my comments, follow.
In a Twitter thread, Trafalgar Group chief pollster Robert C. Cahaly said that President Joe Biden’s recent attacks on so-called “MAGA Republicans” will make polling supporters of former President Donald Trump even harder to poll than in previous years. Cahaly pointed out that in the last two presidential election cycles, name-calling and threats from prominent Democrats contributed to the phenomenon of the “shy Trump voter.” But as the 2022 midterms have begun in earnest, Biden’s escalating rhetoric against Trump supporters, accusing them of embracing “semi-fascism” and being a threat to America, will make these voters even harder to reach in polling.
“In 2016 Trump supporters were called ‘Deplorables’ and other unflattering names,” Cahaly wrote on Twitter. “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.”
I’m not certain Mr. Rigolizzo is on the mark here – at least, not completely. Characterizing these voters as “shy” may not be accurate. While I can speak authoritatively only for myself, I can do that, and I can say that personally I don’t have any damn time for pollsters, and ever since Reagan was President I have routinely refused to speak to them, rhetoric about my views (or the Left’s caricatures of them) aside. Frankly, I have better things to do with my time, and I include such better things as watching birds at the feeder or just looking out the window.
“I call this new group ‘submerged voters,’” Cahaly went on. “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 voters who will be virtually impossible to poll (even for us) and more difficult still to estimate.”
”The 2022 Republican turnout will likely be higher than any of the polls or models are showing,” he concluded. “All polls (including ours) will understate the impact of these ‘submerged voters.’”
Again, speaking only for myself: I’ve never put signs in my yard nor bumper stickers on my truck. In fact, I don’t mess up my vehicles with bumper stickers of any kind, for any reason, in concordance with Animal’s Law of Inverse Bumper Sticker Intelligence. I have my own views on a variety of topics, and I feel no need to advertise them to my neighbors; instead, I put them here, where anyone can choose to read or not to read them, as suits them.
Here’s the onion:
Other independent pollsters endorsed Cahaly’s assessment.
“Yes, call them an enemy of the state one month, and next month participation [falls],” Big Data Poll director Richard Baris said in response to Cahaly’s comments. “And those who do claim to be ‘undecided’ across the board.”
“Voter demonization leads to devilish difficulties in surveying,” Rasmussen Reports replied, promoting Cahaly’s thread.
Now this is a cogent point. I follow politics like lots of guys follow sports, and have done so since the Carter Administration. I have never seen the level of vitriol from the Left as we have seen since 2015, and it seems to grow worse day by day. We are beginning to see some small adoption of the same tactics by the Right, but for the most part the Right’s response has been in the form of actions; see the shipping if illegal immigrants to the various sanctuary jurisdictions, for example, where those illegals are not exactly welcomed with open arms. That’s some epic-level trolling right there, and it’s exposing the hypocrisy of these left-dominated locales.
I’m old enough (barely) to remember Richard Nixon’s appeal to the “Silent Majority.” President Trump, who will almost certainly be tossing his hat in the 2024 ring, is using the same phrase. And this may well turn out to be the case, if Mr. Rigolizzo’s assertions are anywhere close to the mark.
But the key will be November. The concealing of people’s views will end on Election Day, and then the Left will be able to see the bitter fruits of their demonization of political opponents.
We can hope, anyway.