Washington: Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, echoed some of Cahaly’s points about shy Trump voters being missed by pollsters. “There is definitely a submerged Trump vote,” Lee said. Asked for a prediction, he hedged a little but then predicted a Trump win: “I can’t call it. If the turnout is going to be what I think, Trump wins it.”
Lee goes further than some other analysts in suggesting that pollsters may be deliberately overstating the strength of Democratic candidates to dampen Republican turnout, which amounts to voter suppression, reports National Review.
Lee calls attention to what he describes as “garbage polls” showing a double-digit lead for Joe Biden in the past few weeks in Pennsylvania. He sees this as a replay of 2016 and adds, “I called on the American Association of Public Opinion Research to crack down on egregious polling to tighten standards for firms that clearly don’t understand the landscape of Pennsylvania.”
The final Susquehanna poll of Pennsylvania in 2016 showed the race a statistical dead heat, with Hillary Clinton winning by two points, within the margin of error.
Lee elaborates that Pennsylvania could go either way: “The polls are not moving. We have the race in Pennsylvania within two points in the September poll and other firms showing a margin of error that the race is tied, it’s been tied all along in our estimation.” He adds, “I don’t see this as a blue wave” and foresees a very close race in the Electoral College. He endorses some of the arguments made by Cahaly about the nature of people who don’t want to express what may be perceived as socially unacceptable views, even to a pollster on the phone.