Trafalgar Group Polling Methods Show Trump Has Narrow Lead in Key States
Nov. 2, 2020 (EIRNS)—Robert Cahaly, founder of “Trafalgar Group” polling firm, predicted President Donald Trump’s surprise win in 2016. Cahaly told Newsweek today that the key to his accuracy is what he calls Trump’s “shy” supporters, who won’t necessarily tell others, including pollsters, the truth as to whom they will vote for. This is reminiscent of what Lyndon LaRouche termed “other-directedness”—some level of fear of what their neighbors, bosses, or relatives think.
In the 2020 election, Cahaly told Newsweek, he believes Trump will score an Electoral College vote in the high 270s, and “quite possibly a lot more.”
Trafalgar found that online polls were more reliable than polls conducted over the telephone, which Cahaly said returned results that were 3-4 points off. Questions are short and simple. Online polls work, because they offer a high degree of anonymity. In mid-October, Newsweek’s article reports that Cahaly told National Review that his research indicated that Biden supporters were five times more likely to agree to speak with pollsters than Trump supporters—another element that sways the result of a voter survey. “It didn’t take us long to figure out we had a ‘social desirability’ situation playing out”—what Lyndon LaRouche frequently cited as the “other-directedness” identified by David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd, or “propitiation.” Cahaly said his team sometimes used the “neighbor” question—“How do you believe your neighbors are voting?”—to give voters a chance to share their own view without fear of judgment. Cahaly said, “We saw that, in almost every state, Hillary would drop and Trump would go up, when you asked who your neighbors vote for.” The lesson: “The more anonymous your poll is, the more likely somebody is to tell you the truth.”
Cahaly thinks the existing data so far appear to suggest that Trump will win re-election; there are even more “shy” Trump voters around this year. According to a Trafalgar Group poll conducted Oct. 25, Biden is now favored to win Wisconsin by a narrow margin identical to the one by which Trump won four years ago. But Trafalgar Group show Trump is ahead now in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. However, says Cahaly, he needs a 4- to 5-point lead in Pennsylvania to secure the state.
Cahaly thinks the opposition to lockdowns could flip the state of Nevada, which Trafalgar shows Biden currently leading in. But many they polled wanted or needed to go to work, and did not want lockdowns. “One, Trump’s doing incredibly well with Hispanic voters,” Cahaly told Newsweek. “Two, Biden is Mr. Shutdown. And if you work in the casino industry, Mr. Shutdown means you don’t have a job next year.”