Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Primary Reason Polls Are Wrong in 2020

 

Yes, there are ‘shy’ Trump voters who either don’t respond to polls at all, or perhaps even lie to pollsters, but that doesn’t affect poll results as much as the over-sampling of Independents for Biden.

How do Independents and non-affiliated voters get over-represented in every poll?

Polling companies know well Republicans are significantly less likely to respond to a poll. Their solution is to keep calling people’s homes screening for Republicans until they reach the goal of the model for the representative sample. We can assume that is sufficient for the soft science of polling.

But when the quota of Independents in the model is filled, polling stops.

For the sake of this discussion, it doesn’t matter what the actual modeling of R/D/I in the poll. Let’s say it’s 33/33/34. We are only looking at Independents.

If Trump-voting Independents are less likely to even respond to a poll, and Biden voting Independents are more likely to respond to a poll, then the Independent category gets filled quickly with more Biden voters. The polling company reached its quota for Independent voters in the sample. There is no consideration that the internals of this sample could easily be skewed towards Democrat leaners and away from Republican leaners on the basis of how differently the two groups are inclined to respond at all.

I believe it is a significant number.

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  1. Columbo Member

    The Rabble Alliance knew this in 2016. And 2020 will be an easier win for President Trump.

    Landslide. Al Perotta at Stream.org

    • #1
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Mr Nick Member

    Rush just had a caller who said he was a thirty five year old, self employed guy from Pennsylvania and had been polled five times. He was running his own version of Operation Chaos and had lied to them on each occasion, telling them he was voting for Biden when he was a firm Trump guy.

    For what it’s worth he said PA would vote for Trump, reasons being the tax cuts, the energy sector and something about getting the EPA’s teeth out of the state. Seemed to chime with Byron York’s column about Pennsylvania the other day. 

    • #2
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:28 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge

    The Trafalger guy says it is 5x harder to find the Trump voters that will respond. If that is true, then independents might be 5X skewed (25 v. 5 giving a bogus +20). 

    • #3
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Jager Coolidge
    JagerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Look at how Biden and the media are reacting, this helps you to see what they actually think of the polling. 

    In Penn the polls are tightening but the RCP average still shows Biden plus 3.8. A couple weeks ago Cnn and Quinipiac showed polling of Biden plus 8 and plus 10. 

    The NYT published a piece from a guy that was from Penn. He was finding a whole lot of Trump support. This was a real close election, closer than the polls may make it seem. Trump has spent a lot of time their. 

    At the same time Nate Silver at 538 is putting out a piece that basically says Penn is not that important and going over the ways that Biden can win without winning Penn. 

    I think they are starting to get worried that they are missing things.

    • #4
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Nohaaj Coolidge

    I certainly hope this is all true, and Trump wins in a landslide so Huuge that the corruption of mail-in ballots, vote harvesting, and 110% Philly precinct voting for Biden can not over come it. 

    In another observation, I would like to compare attitudes from 2016 to 2020. How many people voted for Trump in 2016 because “he wasn’t the hated corrupt Hillary”? I was a late fan for Trump, favoring others in the primaries, and becoming very enthused after he was the nominee. But a significant part of my motivation was fear and hatred of a potential Hillary presidency. I recall that there were a lot of Trump voters whose primary motivation was “he was not Hillary”. 

    In this 2020 campaign, the parallel but inverse motivation is the number of people who will vote for Biden because he is “not the racist, corrupt hated Trump”.

    I don’t know what will happen, as none of us do. I vacillate between hope and despair, as I alternately watch rallies and polls, or hear the incredibly awful policies of Biden, and the 93% of lying MSM anti-Trump coverage. 

     

    • #5
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Boss Mongo Member

    Columbo (View Comment):
    The Rabble Alliance knew this in 2016.

    @columbo, don’t know who those cats are, but sounds like a buncha badasses.

    • #6
    • October 28, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge

    Jager (View Comment):

    Look at how Biden and the media are reacting, this helps you to see what they actually think of the polling.

    In Penn the polls are tightening but the RCP average still shows Biden plus 3.8. A couple weeks ago Cnn and Quinipiac showed polling of Biden plus 8 and plus 10.

    The NYT published a piece from a guy that was from Penn. He was finding a whole lot of Trump support. This was a real close election, closer than the polls may make it seem. Trump has spent a lot of time their.

    At the same time Nate Silver at 538 is putting out a piece that basically says Penn is not that important and going over the ways that Biden can win without winning Penn.

    I think they are starting to get worried that they are missing things.

    The big problem is that in 2016, the Dems were careless. They really believed the statistics from the very polling firms that Hillary had hired to show that she was the more accepted candidate, and that Trump was a loser who was hated by the public.

    The DNC will not make that mistake twice. Hence we have the 80 million mailed out ballots. (I am not sure if other people get this info, but my FB and twitter feeds are filled with anecdotes from people I know and trust who claim their Dem registered spouse got three ballots while they only got one. Some of these are people I have gotten to know over the phone and through a lil bit of texting. These are not Republican trolls.)

    The polling that is stating that Biden is 3 percentage points plus ahead of Trump are troubling. This pretty much shows the exact amount they will need to fudge the vote by. If a vote count gives one candidate the victory for the state, but is off by less than 1 percent, then a recount is possible. If the victor is given a 3.4% margin of victory, no recount is allowable according to most state rules.

    The important characteristic to consider about any state’s election matters is the party that the Secretary of State has indicated as being his or her preference. You can expect cheating by that party.

    • #7
    • October 28, 2020, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Franco: I believe it is a significant number.

    Here’s hoping you are right. Aside from Trump’s pro-business policies, we should all hope he wins to definitively show the MSM that they do not determine the presidency in this country. 

    • #8
    • October 28, 2020, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Franco Inactive
    FrancoJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I haven’t see this theory elsewhere, other than the general notion there are shy Trump voters and it’s difficult for polling companies to fill the white non-college educated category ( where there’s more Trump support).

    To elaborate a bit, I worked for several polling companies conducting phone surveys in the 80’s ( Opinion Research, Gallup, and Penn&Schoen in the Rizzo/Goode mayoral election) . 
    Any poll has a trove of telephone numbers that are called. Rejection rates are pretty high. People hang up, or get bored and terminate,etc. I had to call ten numbers to get one full interview in political polling. That was in the innocent 1980’s, I can’t imagine how difficult it is now.

    imagine that out of 100 calls made before a survey is completed we could know, or project a theoretical breakdown of Independents at 34.

    Of this subset, 17 are Biden supporters and 17 are Trump supporters. However, the Trump supporting Independents are half as likely to agree to participate. This means that 8.5 Biden supporting Independents will take the place of the non-responsive Trump supporting Independents. That means the polls would be off by about 8% across the board. 
    Now, of course we don’t know if the shyness ratio is 2:1, 3:1 or even more, but I sincerely doubt it is less than 2:1

    As I wrote in the OP, Republicans in general being more reluctant to spend time completing a political survey is well known, but it can be overcome by simply calling more numbers to fulfill the quota. I still remember the team having to stay late desperately trying to find Republicans willing to be polled after having reached the quota for Democrats and Independents. 

    • #9
    • October 28, 2020, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Vince Guerra Member

    Columbo (View Comment):

    The Rabble Alliance knew this in 2016. And 2020 will be an easier win for President Trump.

    Landslide. Al Perotta at Stream.org

    That was the best thing I’ve read all month, right up until he mentioned the reconciliation with Bill Clinton. That was a bridge too far, plus, hopefully he’ll be in prison by Christmas.

    • #10
    • October 28, 2020, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    The Rabble Alliance knew this in 2016.

    @columbo, don’t know who those cats are, but sounds like a buncha badasses.

    Boss,

    There is a history.

    See what She says about it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
    • October 28, 2020, at 10:42 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Some polls have Biden leading in Michigan by 9 to 12 points. So, why is Obama scheduled to campaign with Joe there if they have such a commanding lead? Perhaps the video in this Tweet can provide a clue.

    • #12
    • October 29, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):
    The important characteristic to consider about any state’s election matters is the party that the Secretary of State has indicated as being his or her preference. You can expect cheating by that party.

    This was the point of Soros’ activity two years ago. DAs and Sec State.

    • #13
    • October 29, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes