Are Polls Missing Covert Support for Trump?

Rasmussen Reports (which, I believe, Scott Rasmussen sold several years ago) isn’t always “right,” in the sense that its surveys predict election results. But Rasmussen consistently asks interesting questions. Today, Rasmussen investigated whether there is hidden support for Donald Trump that is not showing up in the polls:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 17% of Likely Republican Voters are less likely this year to let others know how they intend to vote compared to previous presidential campaigns. Just 10% of Likely Democratic Voters say they are less likely to tell.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 25% say they are less likely this year to say publicly which presidential candidate they will vote. Unaffiliateds have leaned in Trump’s direction in recent weeks in our White House Watch survey…

Fifty percent (50%) of all voters think most reporters will try to help Clinton with their coverage, while only 11% believe they’ll try to help Trump.

That is true, obviously. But this is interesting:

Twenty percent (20%) of both conservative and moderate voters are less likely to reveal their choice for president this year. Only 10% of liberals say the same.

So that provides some empirical support for the idea that there is a slim margin of Trump support that is not showing up in the polls. For what it is worth, I don’t believe it. The so-called “Bradley effect” has repeatedly failed to appear, and I am now convinced that it is a fiction.

On the other hand, polls in general, not just in the U.S. but around the world (Israel, the U.K.) have been unreliable in recent years. More often than not, they have erred in underestimating conservative turnout. So I think all of the polls should be viewed with considerable skepticism. But, is there a vast throng of Trump voters who are somehow hiding from pollsters? No, I don’t think so.

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